Miss Helen

Poem

She moves about her tasks of world and science,
With polished eyes upon the brilliant stone.
She gestures with her hands and calmly stereotypes
The grimace and the glance. Her voice is monotone.
Her sphere of life is Pleiades or Cipangu,
Where Numian natives dance the Archipelago.
(Impassioned symbols in the marble of her mind!)
In Ushuaia she studies diamonds from Peru.
Her world, forlorn through golden summers is maligned
With proud perplexities; in apathy her heart defined,
Makes tense all Time. She scorns the miracle of hope;
Her ears are acid touched, her tongue tastes bitter clay.
Sometimes she feels the sharp and probing root that grows
Deep down in self where white light suddenly brings pain;
And with its surge, eclipsing all minutiae,
She seeks at last, in shadow of the cross, a sign;
The clean green shines however briefly, and she knows
That knowledge has acquired its eager misanthrope.
Then is the axis on which turns her world no more
She shudders in her rooms, shrouds all her windowpanes
Mourning the silk, the chintz she did not hang,
She hides her grief and her obdurate remains.

 

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