Friday, August 15, 1997

VIENNA, 1939

VIENNA, 1939

An old woman contemplates 
a passage in her black book.
She sits alone in a park.
It could be it be Vienna, 1939.

She sits in a metal chair, 
her purse sits on the wall 
like a well behaved cat. 
An umbrella bridges the arms of the chair.

She is dressed in black and white.
Her earrings are of gold, 
she wears a worn wedding ring.

On the other side of the park 
three people sit lost in thought,
as blurred as daydreams they once held.

Her hat and glasses, are from another era.
She primly crosses her ankles, 
maybe it's earlier than I thought. 
The dress is too long and her gloves dangle 
helplessly, and swoon from the arms of her chair, 
a white shawl, in case there's a chill.

Her hands are thick with age. 
The young moon of gold on her ring finger 
remembers her wedding day.

She is, like Proust, stirred by remembrances 
of things past. Perhaps it is Paris. 
Will she go go into a café at teatime, 
order madelines and think of her well spent youth?

She's dressed in widow's weeds.
The dark mourning after the war. 
Was it the first one? Or the second one? 
Did she lose a son, or a lover? Or both?
But that's all in the past. 
She's sitting in the park, lost in a book 
and the city waits for her to reinvent it.


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