Beautiful she was,
in a classic way; her eyes
might have been wider, her chin
was out of scale, her skin sprayed
with bigger freckles than her face
might have wished,
and she was shy,
yet those choked silences
foreshadowed mad acts of bravado
that tricked the eye.
We perceived a mystery
whose unpinned list of incongruities
expressed a vast forest
breathing beneath an ocean of leaves.
Boys reached, stretching
to scale the trees they envisaged,
thinking to straddle her misconceived branches,
to examine her seasons and keep count
of her rings.
They touched thin air
that felt like sun-kissed silk
which leads one into warm caress,
then melts and shrinks
and burns the flesh.
Girls snubbed her;
unnerved by the contest,
puzzled by her unerring and erstwhile
they would have preferred to drag
from the earth.
Watching the confusion,
she sighed, knowing the sea was too deep.
She was a distant island; though waves
may lap at her slipping shore,
they rarely landed
at her core.
Word of the Day Challenge: Bravado
©Jane Paterson Basil