Promenade

after Untold Histories, Kelli Hoppmann, oil on panel, 2018

Your skirts drag and darken in melting shadows,
always so soft at this time of year. A white mist
cuddles the ground as if it hoped to protect you
from climate change, wrap you in cotton. Save you
for later. You all head out into the wind. The dogs
love it; heady scents, moist and musky, of unknown
beasts course before them. They are unleashed, but
you are under careful supervision, though no one
would know from their flowered uniforms which
of the women are your attendants. Which one is you.
You can’t run fast enough in this damned dress.
A gust of clear blue sky echoes the salutary effect
of your medication. You hear humming in the high
wires. Only the leafless trees are turning away.