Ode To A Lost Soul

Who was that girl?
Her beauty—it was Helen’s
That launched those ships, we’re told.
Within those eyes
A man could lose his soul;
Those pouting lips would beckon
Like the Sirens’ song of old;
The slender legs and lovely breast
By Venus were bestowed.

Norma Jean they called her,
A plain, unassuming name—
Give her another—
It’s not good enough
For a goddess.
And her hair—much too mousy,
Unfit for a living dream.
We’ll send her through our factory
And make her new again
Then watch them drool and sigh and throw their pennies to the wind
To see that smile, hear that voice…
We’ll call her Marilyn!

And somewhere in the dazzle
That accompanied her fame,
Through the glitz and blaring fanfare
And the whirlwind of the game,
A tiny voice was calling,
But no one heard…

Sleep on, sweet stranger—
To a dream world you have left us
For the real was too cold.
Who was she?
Her beauty it was Helen’s—
But that is all we know.

(Previously published in Mobius, Nov.1999; Poetry & Art, Feb.2001; The Poet's Porch, July 2001)

by Laurence Overmire

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