Atonement Saoirse Ronan

One moment only and the waters quivered,

Aching with hunger,


Silk swathed translucent —

A vapour only stirring —

Draping bare her evanescent youth:

A naiad resurfaced, body a-blush.

In silent caress

His fingers lingered

Over the imprint of her shadow,

The woman of a moment past.

In thirst absconded.


Framed by a summer window,

In their lust, forgotten.

I crave to punish.


That letter. For his eyes only written.

So soon by her forgiven…

Grating spears of greensward

The feel of her dress,

Against the starkness of his thigh.

 In seeing I cannot unsee.

A child no more, and yet a woman neither

Their consummated love tastes of betrayal

And rage becomes my all.


He stands accused. Imprisoned.

In jealous fury I’ve undone their world.

A lifetime to atone

And for their doomed fates punish

Myself alone.