Poetry of Kansas

Portrait In Greys.

People that see her every day
Cannot tell you her pale eyes' color.
Answering any dull words they say,
Her words are duller.

Under her basque is a long lank skirt
Seamed and gored in a bygone fashion.
Often her nerves have twanged to hurt,
Never to passion.

She has no luck making flowers grow
Any more. She forgets to tend them.
Children avoid her, but she has no
Will to offend them.

She has no reason to lie awake,
But her eyes have the look of slightly
Veiled obliqueness that white nights make
If not held lightly.

Why must I think of her? What to me
Is drab hair streakily greying?
Why must her twitching lips seem to be
Wordlessly saying,

Never had anyone, anything;
It was lonely enough at my brother's,
But lonelier here in the women's wing,
With forty others.

May Williams Ward
page 12
(Atlanta: The Bozart Press. 1929)

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August 28, 2004 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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