Blessed-fair Sonnet

what’s so blessed-fair that fears no blot? – Shakespeare Sonnet 92

‘The Sun’ newspaper erased the image of a handicapped girl who had been invited, with her father, to join the team photograph of the England Cricket Team. The public outcry brought changes for the better in photo-journalism.

Merope: the Greek goddess who fell in love with a man and was punished by being made over as an invisible star in the sky.

Her father proud as Atlas, rounding off the row.
Wheelchair and crouching fielders at the front,
the two honoured guests smiling. Oh I should say so.
A fine gesture this. Loyal fans. For an instant
all the team’s white strength and theirs, a continent,
a beaming family in a host of The Pleiadean stars.
How do we view the tabloid’s digital affront
airbrushing her kind face and painting a colapsar?
Who loused things up? Who made her disappear?
Who now remembers Merope, whose immortality
has died for love and whose image is a dark star?
Technology can wipe any soul. Spoil any party.
We are all daughters of Pleione, waiting in line
for the brush-off. None may fit The Grand Design.

BLESSED FAIR SONNET won The Hammicks National Poetry Day Prize,
Liverpool, 2002.