1928. Girl Riding
Gray-eyed girl on the train to Lincoln,
you have folded desire like the dresses
you packed in a steamer trunk, preparing
for freshman year that breathless
August. Freckled girl with small wrists
and a brow lofty and arching, your quiet
gaze vanishes over the autumn fields.
You raise a pastel gold-tipped cigarette
to your lips, and love how the fox collar
of your new brown coat brushes your neck
as you lean against the window;
dreaming, you are delicious to yourself.
No one, not even your sister, has ever
seen your breasts. But you are not thinking
of love, not thinking of college, not thinking
at all as the train carries you deeper
into twilight’s beautiful estrangement. If you
get off the train you will become my mother,
so don’t, don’t, because then I will lose you:
ride forever through the tender night, as smoke
drifts around your carefully drawn lips and soft hair.
Causes Ann Fisher-Wirth Supports
Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Oxfam