Portrait at Dusk
This is the “after” picture you see now—
after a clutch of losses, false beginnings,
unruly endings. Those cling to her brow
and to each set of corners, while the winnings
swim in her eyes and balance on her lips
to tilt and roll according to each morning’s
peculiar cast of light, solar eclipse,
sweet-sour recollections, bitter warnings.
And what was here before? Unfounded hope,
parental expectations and her own:
expecting glibly to be loved, to cope
with everything and never be alone.
The sun’s embers, the evening’s giddy breeze—
they’ve startled her. Another moment, please.