The Downing

By Peter Halstead

Who among us ever felt
They’d see such shameless
Deshabille as this umbrella
Melted: its disguise,
By moths and worms disabled
So exactly that its dress
Now lies tented
On the table, not so far
From where its glory days
Were filled, whirling
In the ocean breeze, deflecting glaze
Beneath the trees, Lu Ban’s
Hidden carousel,
Like his saw or drill,
Entirely au naturel,
Whose wood equestrians
Form quadrilles without their kilts,
The legs of dancers now revealed
Spindly in their slips,
Undraped canes
Through which the sun rips
Unrestrained, its genius dated,
Like Icarus at the end,
His wings deflated,
His halo tabled,
And fabled.

February 16th, 2023