Against the pearly whiteness of a cinematic queen,
I shimmered with an enticing and legendary sheen,
surreptitiously a star in many scintillating scenes,
until recklessly ravaged by ruthless go-betweens.
I was purveyed to the palms of a pretty maid,
in return for favours of a much darker shade,
but malice made the maiden’s marvel fade
and so began my wanders through the starless trade.
I saw her casing crack and flap away in haste,
a chipped bauble was she, and half-crazed.
On shabby velvet I lay with others gone to waste,
yet, too expensive for those without any taste.
“This ere’ – a buckle for the missus Sunday shoes!
I was fondled by filthy fingers declaring: “Two!”
The pawn-broker raised his eyes, sapphire blue,
shook his hardened head and stared him through.
Awhile they stood their ground, then settled for three.
I faded further, as I reflected on my dented fee.
The wife: gap-toothed and greedy-grinned, glaring with glee.
My view: the flouncing flaccid flesh of an overweight knee.
Shod was she, and I – shoe-riding mile after mile,
through gutters of slop with waste running vile.
Splashing through puddles, a yellowish green bile,
a lady dressed in best, ‘cause the fish-wife had style.
She gained a stone and I lost two – then four.
Now a piece of worthless scrap forever more,
I thought as I came undone and fell to the floor.
Groping the ground, she wailed and swore!
Trod on and trampled by countless, yet noticed by none,
until the precious hands of a child turned me round.
I mingled with the cluster of other treasures she’d found,
of illustrious backgrounds that would truly astound!
Still much in love with her street urchin souvenirs,
her workshop sparkled below crystal chandeliers.
She beheld me with onyx pupils, dilated as in fear,
and whispered excited: “A necklace, my dear?”
After many long years being treated like trash,
once again I catch the eye of every amber flash,
where I sit in pride of place, uniquely re-hashed,
and reflect over a century of contrasts’ clashed.