Make your own free website on Tripod.com



Paula's Poems

My Cousin Rachel

by Paula Puddephatt

inspired by Daphne du Maurier's "My Cousin Rachel"

Orphaned as a small child -

raised by my elder cousin, Ambrose -

secure together, in our "house of men" -

Ambrose, my cousin -

yet, father, mother, brother -

Ambrose was all. My world.

 

They used to hang men at Four Turnings

in the old days.

Not any more, though.

I was seven, when

Ambrose showed me

the hanging body of a man.

The man's name was Tom Jenkyn.

He used to sell lobsters.

He murdered his wife,

and for his crime,

Tom Jenkyn hung.

 

Our damp Cornish winters

did not agree with Ambrose,

necessitating travel -

winters to be spent on the Continent.

And in Florence,

in his forties,

that what where, and when, he met

the Countess Sangalletti -

My Cousin Rachel.

She apparently shared his love of gardening.

Then came the letter,

announcing that

Ambrose and My Cousin Rachel

were married.

I had not know such jealousy -

such intense jealousy - before.

 

And so few letters.

And when they came...

 

And that journey to Florence -

and the churches -

and the haunting face

of a beggar woman.

 

The sudden shock -

the news of

Ambrose's death.

 

And the villa -

and the fountain -

boy holding a shell -

the laburnun trees -

the unreality of that foreign land.

 

And, back at home, the hatred

that grew -

of a Rachel

who never existed -

and the love

for a Rachel

who - did that one exist?

 

Sunday lunches

with the Kendalls and Pascoes -

and My Cousin Rachel.

Especially, that first one.

Especially, the last.

 

And Rainaldi - hated by Ambrose,

hated by me.

Regarded by My Cousin Rachel as

friend, confidante -

maybe lover, as well?

 

And the pearls -

around Rachel's white neck -

and a wedding -

my marriage to Rachel -

a wedding

that never took place.

 

And my own illness.

And - was Rachel innocent?

Was Rachel guilty?

 

An evening walk

in the terraced garden.

A warning, not heeded.

 

The image of a granite slab -

a pocket book -

letter from Ambrose - buried,

along with the pocket book.

 

They used to hang men at Four Turnings

in the old days.

Not any more, though.

Home | Dreams Instead | Twisted Illusions | Suicide Angel | Delusions So Beautiful | Helpless | Too Attached | High on Life | Something's Not Right | Distraction | Lifestyle Choice | See Me Through | And The Cycle Repeats | Worthless | No Reverse | Barbed Wire | Love Wasted | Obsession's Dance | Where are You? | Three Years | Eternal | Conclusion | Confused and Broken | Moving On | Final Spin | Attachment and Obsession | Bluebells for Eternal Friendship | Spirit's Song | My Cousin Rachel | La Mouette | Mary and the Horse Thief | From the East Wing | Persephone | Disordered Mind | Girl in Pink | Tenderness and Lace | No Rhythm, Reason or Rhyme | The Legend of Lucy Lightfoot | Only The Horse | Harsh Lessons | Time | Display | Space of a Year | For Other Survivors | Dreams and Illusions | Space and Away | Autumn Days | Inside My Mind | In Every Breeze | Almost Wondering Why | Scarlet | Sepia | 2012: End of the World? | The Truth From The Lies | Carousel | The "Own Life" Exclusion Clause | Never Was Enough | All Over Again | Colours of Pain | Distant | So Quietly | Before I | One Flower | Liquid Gold | My Words | Analysis | Consequences | Dreaming in Neon | Psychedelic Skies | Dreams | Magnolia | Self-Harm | Revealed | Trust | If I Believe | Moonlit Emotions | Selective Caring | Moments | Plan B | Reasons, Seasons and Private People | Even Now | Words Like | Can't Not | New Start | Pure | Not Mine | Disappointing Daughter | Numbers | Not Spring For Me | You Both | Retreat | Given Choice | Relentless | Sunlight | Artificial | Memories | Night Poems | The Quiet Ones | No-one Hears | All Night | Spiral Staircase in Sepia | Non-directional Days | Trying to Escape | Calm | Empty Cradles | Silver | The Healing Process | Twigs and Leaves | Late Autumn Into Winter | On The Inside, Looking Out | Disappointment | And Now | Star | For Rhiannon | Maybe Baby Pink | Potential | Metaphorically | Bell Jars, Sylvia, Ariadne and Me | Walls | So Much Better When | Sometimes You're Everywhere | Never Pain | Converting Each Hurt | Fade Into | Speak My Mind | Ebony and Blue | Neon and Rainbows | Oak Tree | Dark Days | And That Is All | Almost Safe | So Scared | Parallel Paths | Tesco Clubcard | What They Don't See | Pastel Shades | Imperfect Expressions | Every Day | Your Words | Beyond | A Reason | But I Don't | That You'll Reject Me | Descending Chords | Feels Like The End | Can't Mention | Learning to Fake It | Tell Me Why | The Right Words | Darkened Room | Obsession | Why Can't We? | Beyond "friendsreunited" | Underneath Her Mask | Delusions | Fragile Beauty | Not All About | Enough | Jaded | Black-and-white (with a golden beak) | Magic Beans and Mindless Office Work | Resigned | To Pay the Rent | Autumn | The Kids and Pets Thing | Who is "Everybody", Anyway? | Employment Options: Horses For Courses | Sample Kyrielle | Alternative CV | Spiritual Peace | Not in God's Name | The Highest Perch | Quakers on Pacifism | Knock, Knock | Cash Machines in Walls | Depression | If You Know These Things | Quaker Plain | Shades of Grey | Sellotape and Glue | Devotion | Spirit of the Unicorn | Moonlight Reflected | Insomnia | No Chance | 1993 | Remembering | Games | A Piece of my Peace of Mind | Lime Trees | Yew Trees | Feeding the Ducks | Duck Haiku | Dolphins | Transcending | Perspective | A Certain Stillness | Toco Toucan | Red Roses | Purple Velvet | Links