The Woman On The Balcony

There is a woman
Standing opposite
Hanging out the clothes.

On my balcony
I reflect her actions
But mirror not her face.

Which is old
I can see
By the drooping
Of her jowls
Forming lines
Deep but soft
Around her mouth.
She is wearing
Big pearl earrings
And her hair
Curled and grey
The long-sleeved blouse
Which is buttoned
Up to her neck.

She bears
A look of Jesus
One sees
From time to time
A quiet calm
And yet knowing
What life is all about.

As she continues
To hang up clothes
Neatly in a line
It is beautiful
In its orderliness
She has nothing
Else to do
Because there is
Nothing else
To do
In that instant
But hang out clothes
On a balcony.

I stretch
To peg up
The first piece
Of clothing
Not yet scarved
I recall
My baldness
And the breast
I’ve not yet fitted
For the day.
I hide my secret
A pair of shorts
With each new item
I strive
To crouch more
And then still more.
My excuse
Is the fear
Of shocking
That woman
Standing opposite
Hanging out the clothes.

No I do not
Reflect the face
Of the woman
On the balcony.

And yet her face
Of compassion
Has graced me
For a moment
To forget
My lost appearance.

And perhaps
In this moment
I will mirror
That look of Jesus
One sees on faces
From time to time
When walking streets
Or watching people
On their balconies
And seeing
In their eyes
The look of One
Who knows
What life
Is all about.


  1. Ana

    Queda prohibido llorar sin aprender,
    levantarte un día sin saber qué hacer,
    tener miedo a tus recuerdos.
    Queda prohibido no sonreír a los problemas,
    no luchar por lo que quieres,
    abandonarlo todo por mieudo,
    no convertir en realidad tus sueños.
    Queda prohibido no buscar la felicidad,
    no vivir tu vida con una actitud positiva…

    We won’t surrender, Deirdre.
    XXX. Ana


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