The Women of Dorich House
The head of the girl with pigtails
has been placed halfway up
the soft crimson staircase.
Her back to the window,
she dreams of a sky she cannot see,
trees she cannot climb.
The head of a girl with pigtails
catches our eye as we ascend,
again as we go down.
Her patina gaze is unnerving:
she is girlhood without the games,
skipping without the rope.
Instead of the pupil, two staring blanks;
enclosed, encased, embalmed.
I lived once – my eyes were the colour
of those tulips over there, fading to violet.
I am no-woman, everywoman, my case
has no name. Visitors circle in hope,
check out my eyes as you have done,
notice the tulips and move on.
I saw the sculpture before the name;
body of a woman playful as a kitten.
Mid-roll in abandon, legs in freefall
stomach splayed for all to see. Sinuous,
graceful, eyes closed against the world,
she holds the apple aloft –
Mine, all mine she says
Poet in Residence at Kingston Libraries.