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Turning Blind

After Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926)

She sat much like the others at the tea.
And yet at my first glimpse, it looked as though
She clasped her cup a little differently,
And gave an awkward smile. It made me wince.

At last, the people all got up and walked
Through many spacious rooms and laughed and talked,
As if mere chance were bringing it about.
And finally, I saw her following.

Like others, she’d been called upon to sing
Before a shoreless sea of listeners.
She loved all music, and her gray eyes shone
Like mirrored light upon a quiet pond.

When shyly she stepped forth, at once I knew
Another hurdle needed to be cleared.
She paused, then moved above all barriers:
Now she was free and did not walk; she flew.

© Alice Park 1999
The Formalist Volume 10 Issue 2 1999

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