The behind, by Britta Benson

Yesterday, I went to the British Museum and came across a sculpture, or, to be more precise, what was left of it: the bum. Just the bum. Everything else had broken off, disappeared over the centuries. That got me thinking… Here’s my poem about a marble bottom. Enjoy!

The behind

All that’s left

of her timeless beauty

is a miniature marble derrière,

displayed in no uncertain terms

on the tiniest plinth, centre stage.

The centuries have not been kind,

this formerly respectable lady

has lost her legs, feet and toes.

Nobody knows,

where her hands

have wandered off to.

Perhaps they’re still attached

to a bottomless torso.

It appears,

she couldn’t keep hold of extremities

very well.

Does she still have a head somewhere?

Her displaced soul

manages a smile

of sorts

with what she’s got.

This is a posterior

who undoubtedly knows

how to make do.

The chalk white piece

of finest marble

attracts attention

due to what’s no longer there.

I’ve spent the longest time

in front of a posterior

and as I walk on

I’m sure I can hear

the not so gentle whispers

of smug faced complete sculptures

from the other side of the gallery.

The lucky brigade,

intact, in all their glory,

not even a scratch on the nose.

Some remain quiet, though,

ah, I see,

there’s been a slight issue

with their masculinity.

Our bodies are delicate,

some parts more than others.

Posterity is a cruel, curious judge.

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