Woman at a Window

Woman at a Window

I see her as a portrait:
caught behind liquid transparency;
framed; tear-eyed; her pale face
distilling weak light.

As if suspended,
she stands at her window for hours.
The disintegration into sobbing;
the lip-trembling;
the glassiness of the stare:
these draw me to spy
(no, too harsh a word!) to study her,
even though I wish it weren’t so.

If I could erase the distance between us,
we might converse about death,
violence, a star-crossed affair
or whateveritis
that’s causing her to cry.

And if I could tell her that we’re alike,
our worlds equally askew,
I might see reflected back at me
someone other than myself.

‘Woman at a Window', from Lost Relatives (Steele Roberts, New Zealand, 2011), © Siobhan Harvey 2011, used by permission of the author. Poet’s private recording 2011.

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