On contemplating Francesco Porzio’s Monumento alla difesa di Casale, 1897 – Bronze of a young female warrior in Lombard costume.

Eyes steely
forwards she directs her gaze
Warm soft worn
her heart

False ones will not bear witness
She dare not care

Onward she must move
Straight. Proud. Grounded.
There is no bowing to grovelers

She moves
Swift. Measured. Full of mercy.

At these crossroads she is tested
Her best parts shielded
The time for tolerance has passed

When darkness ceases
She will warm and blossom once again

She will look to new love
She will embrace old friends