Gayle Roby

Gayle Roby

Short-sleeved Poet Jacket

There she is on page 14
of the women’s catalog, leaning in
to hear the joke or applause, smiling
in pumice, sizes 2 to 20,

short-sleeved because she’s out in spring,
that chartreuse haze behind the railing
where she balances a slim bare hand.

But why should I poke fun at her
making an honest living?
I knew a poet years ago

who looked like her: not the clothes,
but the long blond hair, the necklace of shells,
the just-washed face. Her voice was soft

as if she might share a secret. But spring
came on, loud with insects and birds,
and she fled the devouring season, only
now to peer from memory’s still thicket.