17 November 2009

For a Misidentified Woman

Her eyes come through the flecks in the emulsion
like a child's grown wide in twilight
gazing through a haze of fireflies and fog.

Maybe there was something to
the plain dark way of dressing then
and the hair slicked-down and drawn
tightly back.

And the quiet stance against the chair--
one hand folded across the other wrist,
one hand dangling a fan.

A woman who pauses to look,
who doesn't distract,
who though she can't see all
refuses to see what isn't there
and won't avert her gaze.

PROMPT: Photo postcards from a Library of Congress collection. Find various collections online at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/. Sometimes I have people choose 1, 3 or 5; sometimes I have them pass 1 or 2 to the left and 1 or 2 to the right so that they end up what something they didn't expect. They can then choose to write about just one or all.

1 comment:

  1. There's such mystery in old photos. Something about their stiff poses and stoic expressions sparks my curiosity about who they really were and how they really felt. Thanks for sharing this one!