Teenaged Girl


          You are a window

               leaning up against a tree,

          a door lying at that bottom of a ravine.


          You are somewhere

               between liquid and solid –


          You are buffed,

               tanned, tweezed, shaved,

          powedered, penciled-in and tinted.


          You paint yourself

              into a corner, and even

          when the paint is dry, refuse to walk out.


          You seed out

               high places, unprotected,

          while I stand below, barely able to watch.


          I strain to read

               the direction signs you follow,

          but they are in a language I no longer know.





                                                             Ann Floreen Niedringhaus