Monday, June 17, 2013

Eleanor



I'll never forget how
she cornered me
outside the lecture hall
with her downcast eyes,
looking so respectful.
I thought women were
supposed to look
just like that.

I spent evenings in her company.
She made me supper of beans and greens.
Ellen was studying nutrition.
In my mind it wasn't a high profession.
She was a practical person
with concrete attitudes.
But there was a twist to her,
a sadness that called for
my special talents.

Sitting at her table
became a staple of my life.
It was only when I developed
a tenderness toward her that things changed.
She stood at the cabinet drawer
looking for needle and thread.
I came up behind her,
suddenly driven by a gush
of something physiological.
I touched her hand.

She withdrew alarmingly. 
Lesbianism was illegal in those days.
Ellen's partner was a butch named Maxine.
She called her Max.
I would be an appearence.
Not my charm
but my availability
made her wait for me.

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