Rhina P. Espaillat
On Rereading a Sonnet Written in 1951
It is as if a sketch in a child's hand
bearing the scene all children knowa cow
floating on crayoned green meant to be land
became the place you could not know till now.
Look, fourteen lines you clothed in fancy dress,
in borrowed images, one day at school.
Silly, yet here and there, how luck may bless
with unsuspecting wit the simplest fool!
The ultimate grief, you wroteas if you'd known,
who had not learned a thing but by report
is to discover that one dies...alone.
How odd to be that girl, how longhow short
the lifetime spent in learning if it's true,
what she suspected, what she somehow knew.
Rhina P. Espaillat, Her Place in These Designs, Truman
State University Press, 2005.