Peggy Hammond

In Paris, a bust of Dalida 

Punctuates the singer’s neighborhood, 

Marks a large love.


The bronze likeness, silent watcher, 

Wears well its darkness,

Except the rounded breasts


Which gleam golden on  

Cloud-cloaked afternoon.

Passersby, looking for luck,


Or boys wanting practice,

Have rubbed and robbed them

Of their nut-brown hue.


Dalida, with half-lidded eyes fixed 

On space that rests above mortal plane,

Forgives this familiarity.


Her house reveals this moment’s tenant

With one open window, the curtain undulating,

A sheer belly dancer, on December drafts.


But in the past, this tower home watched

Love’s crests and falls,

Watched glittering awards and fame


Fail to delight the soul it tried to sustain,

Watched Dalida write words to break 

The world’s faithful heart.


No longer could she resist shadows

And mists that rise on further shore. 

No longer could she move as goddess 


On paths of this world.  In May’s soft glow

When all others woke to life fresh and bright,

She set her course Sunward.


Leaving Earthbound humans unable to follow,

Mourning after her like Zeus 

After Io.

Peggy Hammond taught college English in North Carolina for most of her career. She has poetry published in The Lyricist and Oberon Poetry Magazine and has had one full-length stage play produced at OdysseyStage Theater in Durham, NC. She admits being torn between autumn and winter as her favorite season and has been writing poems and stories from a very young age.