She was scissor-cut, torn head,
creased hair, shivered by each breeze.
A paper doll, she feared
a giant bird could carry her off,
or dogs run past eight-legs-fast.
In the camera’s eye, a model,
her beauty pasting paper ribbons.
She pivoted behind the camera
thrown into war’s theatre,
the new images splashed in Vogue.
She washed herself in Hitler’s bath
(Dave Scherman took the picture),
left her Dachau-dirty boots
on Hitler’s bath-mat, a moment
of revenge. But the images
wouldn’t stay outside
disturbed the papery doll inside
the pasted edges tore apart.
Janet Murray grew up in Lancashire and now lives in London. She is a former winner of the Fish Publishing Poetry Prize.
This article appears in the 09 Jun 2021 issue of the New Statesman, The Covid cover-up?