Amongst her fellow workers
she was regarded with covert disdain
seen as too willing and eager to belong
At first impression it was difficult not to concur.
Blonde and vivacious she stood out
clothes folded tightly around her beauty
leaving no mystery or imaginings of form
a costume drawing warm male applause.
Men cast her as the dizzy hair colour
she happy to be on stage
in low neckline and high skirt.
Life, the shriek accompanying the pop of a cork.
Appearances were deceiving
beneath the label a vintage of thoughtful complexity
layers of fine tuned observation, with a strong finish
an astute judge who ruled, but reserved judgement.
For the few acts our roles overlapped
the cast was impossibly young – migrants,
commuting between education and career
life a subway station, arrivals, departures and delays.
We mostly rode separate trains, at different times
only twice did we share a compartment
each time I was bequeathed useful advice –
ambition can be the destination of artifice.
then a deserter from the trench warfare between
men and women, combat weary,
the foxholes had turned me into an atheist of love.
You must change she said sadly
or you will never know romance.