A luckless family. ‘ Died in Bengal,
a clockwork tiger’s prey.’ ‘Died clothes on fire
standing by a glass furnace.’ ‘Proved a liar
in Madagascar’s poison ritual
and died of it.’ ‘ Fell from enormous height
her airship tempest-torn.’ ‘Shot in the heart
a husband found her photographic art
had stolen love and soul.’ ‘Murdered by night
by radium bandits who left him aglow
with deadly salts.’ ‘ Blown into bits
by Zulu cannonade.’ ‘She lost her wits
breaking the spirit known as Wendigo’.
In their world, as in ours, the Empire’s spread
is red as blood and paid for with its dead.