Alice O. Howell   

 

The Moon in Virgo

 

                A stillness, a clarity

                   a light in my chamber,

                             whiffs of lavender, space, and rue

of all the ancillary ladies from my childhood

back through New England to the Vestal Virgins

          to a constant intact concern

with chaste white woven ribbons

                   (one hidden of scarlet jaquard!),

          the  ladder of crimping

buttons of pearl, and a demanding gentleness,

          no! respect -  for any anybodys right,

                    even under a shroud of napery,

to claim absolutely nothing.

                                                a.o.howell

                      

                                              

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