Editing poetry: All grown up – two viewpoints

The phrase ‘che bell’onor s’acquista in far vendetta’ belongs to Dante.

you grew up too fast
hurtled down ill-lit corridors
too heavy to lift the dust
shaking in counterpoint to the surge
you flinched at the raised hands
never heard as I whispered ‘no’
into the taut space of six long years
Skinner would have approved, cheered
as they painted him a criminal,
crimson for the shadows
che bell’onor s’acquista in far vendetta
but thermodymanics prevails
(as one might expect)
you faded in the sunlight
almost transparent in photographs
poor reflection of a smile
a dance written down
or cast in a mirror
the tut-tut of the shutter’s
disapproval
your friend in those aimless orchards

you grew up too fast
those hands so briefly small
clutched at the concept of beauty
as it slipped sand-quick
between your fingers
you grew up inside
that dark oak room
trailed with purple ribbons
you learned to paint the light
using shadow
to trap your hopes
within the frame
the rhythm and the flutter
of mood
your hearbeat on the door
the frenzy and the brush
antonymic

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