11 November 2009

p.a.d. ... day nine

The Lady Looked at Herself

The lady looked at herself
(with curls and cheeks round as
apples)in a pool of dark still water
more slippery than a raven's back
its feathers wet with rain.

The women plaiting her hair
(none of them knowing kinship is
more fairer than guile and
envy) tell stories about the
lady's vanity and love of

looking at her own body (a
most excellent body, both up and
down) and their stories buzz
and hum until all the men and
women (especially the women) believe

the lady is a bad lady
(and a sinful lady and
shameful too) and they cannot
begin to explain (these women)
how they have come to feel

contemptible of their own bodies
so they begin to make excuses
(about a hair out of place, about
needing to check their lipstick)
for looking in the mirror.

Somewhere (with ribbons of
gold that flow and swim) is a
lady who leans over a vessel
(a bowl of painted glass) and
looks at herself (long and slow).

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