Friday, 18 July 2014

Day 728: Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose - Alice Oswald

She could be any woman at all,
caught off-guard on-guard.
With her hands stroking or strangling and maybe
with her intentions half interred.
But she is as she is. Her foot is always
filing away at its cord.
And what she's really after
is to wander.

She forgets who she is.
She could be so small
she almost has no smell.
She feels like anyone at all.
When you walk up to her,
she keeps quite still,
but what she answers to
is never loud enough to know.

Eaten away by outwardness,
her eyes are empty.
They could be watching you
or not, they work indifferently
like lit-up glass and if you ask
why she won't speak, why should she?
When what she really wants
is to wander.

You know what women are like:
Sandra, Sabrina.
They pretend to be settled,
peering round under
the hoods of their names.
Alcestis, Clytemnestra.
She could be either of those.
She scarcely knows.

She goes on thinking something
just over your shoulder.
This could be the last day
before you lose her.
But what's the use
of saying one thing or another?
When what she's really after
is to wander.

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