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NOT WatchingHer

The girl in red 
on the wall
above the door
[of the Montmartre] 
to my right—your left—
is NOT Anne Frank. 

She’s not the girl 
[was she blond?] 
in the red wintercoat 
in a maudlin sea ofblack and white 
in Schindler’s List. 

She’s not peeking throughthe door 
to see her parents 
dancing to invisiblewaltzes 
in the kitchen 
under candle lightafter midnight 
during a power outage 
in late November in1973. 

She is not 
the daughter of oneof the senior partners of Davis and Company downtown, 
the daughter who asa teenager will attend Crofton House, 
row with a group ofHeathers from the RVYC 
and develop the shouldersand upper body strength 
that will thrill severalmembers of the St. George’s Senior Boys Basketball team, 
only to be dumpedlike a handjob working girl 
because she won’tfulfill their communal carnal desires. 

She is not a smallchild with gifts: 
and seeking the fleetingmoments 
when she can fleeuncertainty 
and the idiosyncratic 
that undermine childhoodpeace and stability. 

She is [merely?] staringlongingly 
at the tricycle suspendedfrom the ceiling beams, 
contemplating therisk of leaping 
into the third dimension, 
plucking it down 
and riding away 
and down the sidewalk, 
looking for a swingset
—any swing set. 

She is also longingfor the black feather wings, 
to rip down, 
strap to her back 
and leap off the roof 
towards the street 
only to be caughtup in the wake of a bus with rabbit ears, 
a wake that will sailher over towards Nat Bailey Stadium 
where she can swoopdown over the outfield, 
pass a fly ball sailingover the left field wall, 
then ride the summersunset updrafts up Queen Elizabeth mountain, 
over to the quarrygarden and west 
to race the sunsetaround the planet 
until time glidesher down 
into Shangri-La’splayground sandbox 
of eternal childhood,bliss and innocence. 

But today: 
today she is trappedin red on the wall, 
watching all of us 
NOT watching her.

Copyright 2002, StephenBuckley
06.23.02, 07.24.02

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