Portrait at Dusk

Poem by Claudia Gary


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 mornings

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 suns embers, the evenings giddy breeze

theyve startled her.  Another moment, please.