I think of the story my mother told her sisters that day

when I was home sick from school.   Of the nurse

bringing three babies into the ward and her praying

that hers wouldn’t be the ugly one in the middle.

And of how one moment can paint your portrait,

the only one you’ll ever have of yourself.


And now faced with this stunning stranger,

I imagine how she assembled herself with an eye

toward the pleasure she must always have given–

the way the white cat might curl on a green sofa

or a cardinal select the branch nearest the snowy

backdrop, with a right to be noticed, the necessity

of standing in this world as a pleasing antidote


to the despair of houses in a rundown neighborhood

where the lawns never prosper and women who

don’t realize they have the power of words, if nothing

else, might say on an incongruously sunny afternoon

something that will dye a future, no matter what pictures

are in the child’s coloring book or how hard she tries to keep

inside the lines using only the pastels and sometimes even

staying up late to get the sky just the right color blue

Start the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.