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Reflections on a Young Lady

By David Edwards

“Thus if you talk of a beautiful woman you mean only something flying fast which for a second uses the eyes, lips or cheeks . . . to glow through.”

Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room.

A sea of people move together,
Collide, fuse, split as one;
Eyes kept down and
Conversations kept amongst
Pockets of life embodied.

Treed walkways carry futures unknown:
Doctors, lawyers, leaders of great worlds and countries;
Thieves, liars, misogynists intermingled—futures waiting to be told.

I see her, I see
A mass of frizzy hair and wool sweater.
She sits apart
As the group moves around her.
She sits on the far side of a bench
Accompanied by large books on
Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

Ah, she is the elusive feminine
Physical knowledge—the one
The 21st century has been seeking,
Breeding, building.

She speaks in formulas
And logarithms. She builds bridges
In her sleep and finds
Gravitons under rocks.
Higgs-Bosons flutter through her fingers.

It is stifling; her thick layers are
Impregnable.
She is impossibly thin,
Exceptionally frail.
Anorectic.

She stares empty-eyed as
The Tower bells vivisect time.
They pass by her but no one sits.
No, they don’t know her; the world walks by and no one knows her,
Sees her—
Do I?

 

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