Friday, December 21, 2018

The Way Girls Were Raised (Day 702)

Her tiny paper voice redolent of old jewelry 
and longing, decorated with a fairytale ending,  
an act of real-life resistance, saying: 
“Me too! My existence counts as something.” 
An umbrella, she sheds tears the clouds 
cry for the way girls were raised to run long, 
tapered fingers around wineglass rims, and 
to twirl the tiny paper parasols propped 
atop fruit-laden drinks with titillating names. 
How does she do it—sing songs of such 
encouragement and evocation? Yet, there, 
amidst a library of crumbling books in archaic languages, she hums a song so dark and cheerful 
that, in an unlit, unloved corner, Goethe stirs 
and blinks approvingly, and she, sensing 
his presence, tosses him a knowing wink.


(c) 2018, by Hannah Six
Image: Archives of Hamilton Public Libraries,
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (via Flickr)