William Carlos Williams

(17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963 / New Jersey)

Portrait of a Lady


Your thighs are appletrees
whose blossoms touch the sky.
Which sky? The sky
where Watteau hung a lady's
slipper. Your knees
are a southern breeze -- or
a gust of snow. Agh! what
sort of man was Fragonard?
-- As if that answered
anything. -- Ah, yes. Below
the knees, since the tune
drops that way, it is
one of those white summer days,
the tall grass of your ankles
flickers upon the shore --
Which shore? --
the sand clings to my lips --
Which shore?
Agh, petals maybe. How
should I know?
Which shore? Which shore?
-- the petals from some hidden
appletree -- Which shore?
I said petals from an appletree.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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