Native Woman

Original Text: 
The Ruined Cottage (Toronto: Wolsak and Wynn, 1993): 59.
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.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

<b>This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of Albert Frank Moritz or the Wolsak and Wynn permissions department.</b>