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Short poem

Albert Frank Moritz (1947-)

Native Woman

              1Her hair back from the wide round face
              2flows, almost a girl's, so thick,
              3caught back in combs, racing
              4and curling through them with blackest
              5vigor, although it is pure white.
              6Cracked face, dusk-colored: not red
              7but with a deep red struggling under
              8the coming night. The eyes shift quickly,
              9the subway train jerks and rattles,
            10green vinyl, light flickering, silver poles.
            11Eyes driven from ancient calm,
            12which may fear but is never frantic
            13and says nothing, such as looks out
            14from the old Indian portraits -- calm is
            15the one thing missing from the beauty
            16of her face in the black window.
            17Those unresting eyes there
            18talk plainly: there's no money
            19at home, men young and old go wrong,
            20life almost at its end is
            21still day by day harried and perplexed.

Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of Albert Frank Moritz or the Wolsak and Wynn permissions department.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: The Ruined Cottage (Toronto: Wolsak and Wynn, 1993): 59.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2004
Recent editing: 1:2004/7/22

Other poems by Albert Frank Moritz