Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

‘Siena 1978’: a poem by Bernard O’Donoghue

Siena 1978

‘the red-haired girl from Palaeography’

The photograph was taken when the sun broke through
And shone on the copper red of her hair
As we sat in the Piazza del Campo
After seven days of unrelieved rainfall.
We’d come out from seeing the Lorenzetti
Frescos: Good and Bad Government,
And the attendant golden-haired angels
Surrounding the Virgin and her child.

Later that evening, back in the palazzo
Of the Sorelle Bandini, we watched the news
And saw the police blanket covering
The body of Aldo Moro in the street
And fretted for the unborn infant
With us on our way from place to place.