Portrait

Seeing in crowded restaurants the one you love
You wave at the door, tall girl in imperious fur,
And make for him, bumping waiters, dropping a glove,
Arriving soft with affectionate slur.
As ladies half-turn, gazing, and men appraise
You heap the linen with purse, scarf, cigarettes, lighter,
Laughing some instantaneous droll phrase.
As if sudden sun came out, the table is brighter.


All moods: at a party everybody’s delight;
Intent while brown curls shadow the serious page;
When people are stuffy (more correct than right)
The stamp and turn on heel of a little girl’s rage.
But woman mostly, as winter moonlight sees,
Impetuous midnight, and the dune’s dark trees.

by John Frederick Nims

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