She picks her way (in her world, there is no time and place
For something so frivolous as traipsing)
Through narrow and informal trails which criss-cross
The slump-shouldered hills above town,
Thick pine stands obscuring the abandoned woolen mill,
The ungainly pock-marks of the abandoned quarries below.
She is in love (but coyly, chastely) with the mountain laurel,
Unremarkable and unprepossessing in its pallidity,
Demure foil for the hawkweed, the Indian paintbrush,
The resigned counterpoint without which
The beautiful may claim no more than some vague quality,
Some ethereal, gauzy notion which sets them apart.
She has no pretensions concerning her own self
(Plain as the dirt on Bootjack Hill, she reckons,
Although she entertains the odd fanciful notion:
Small hotels in Corfu, out-of-the-way Parisian nightspots,
Tete-a-tetes with second sons of some minor baroness)
And she contents herself with the occasional ramble over the knolls,
Meandering silently among the ubiquitous tiny flowers,
Joining them in understated and minor communion,
The mute and muted envy of the canvas
Toward the bright and showy pigments of the palette.
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: Once again I stand astride wide shoulders .
Submitted for this fortuitously timed Toads challenge.