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Beatrice by Kelly Mason

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  • Doe eyes wet with tears
    I am innocent she said
    to the wall, to the floor, to me
    and I will die in the morning

    Her face emerging on the canvas,
    those round eyes, intent and focused
    as her father's lifeless body
    was carried away in an ox cart

    Father can't hurt me anymore
    she thought, I am free at last
    then her plot was uncovered
    and her lover confessed his crime
    that he had killed a man
    for Beatrice

    The Pope condemned her
    the people would not
    yet they gathered by the stone
    and waited for the sword
    Beatrice held her head high
    on the day of the execution
    so brave for one so young
    the murmur in the crowd

    I am innocent, her eyes said to me
    as I painted her portrait
    the night before
    her eyes, pure and wet with tears
    her sorrow engulfed me
    innocent, young, but a girl
    I painted tears in her sad brown eyes
    and slowly I drowned
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