Sympathetic Portrait of a Child

Original Text: 
William Carlos Williams, A Book of Poems. Al Que Quiere! (Boston: The Four Seas Company, 1917): 54-55. York University Library Special Collections 5773.
1The murderer's little daughter
2who is barely ten years old
3jerks her shoulders
4right and left
5so as to catch a glimpse of me
6without turning round.
7Her skinny little arms
8wrap themselves
9this way then that
10reversely about her body!
11Nervously
12she crushes her straw hat
13about her eyes
14and tilts her head
15to deepen the shadow --
16smiling excitedly!
17As best as she can
18she hides herself
19in the full sunlight
20her cordy legs writhing
21beneath the little flowered dress
22that leaves them bare
23from mid-thigh to ankle --
24Why has she chosen me
25for the knife
26that darts along her smile?
Publication Start Year: 
1916
Publication Notes: 
"Touché," Others (Feb. 1916)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2000.