Beneath The Opaque Plastic Umbrella

On whose account the maid Camilla died. . .
Vergil, AENEID, XI

Beneath the opaque plastic umbrella
Camilla strikes a model pose:

head just turned;  tangled curls falling
mutely to crash against those shoulders

lifting to meet that quick smile sculpted
to imitate a woman’s lust.

Blue eyes tell the child
above the nose-length scab, blood wound

acquired from a certain, unyielding sidewalk.
What more epic battles wait you?

What hulking new Aeneas beds his tempting Dido
and roughly dreams an empire fated

to shake your amazing, proud head
beneath that opaque, plastic umbrella?

(March, 1976)

1 thought on “Beneath The Opaque Plastic Umbrella

  1. How could I not like this one?

    I remember that particular sidewalk wound, too. I flew over a pair of handlebars and faceplanted so badly my mom didn’t want to let me see my face in the mirror. Naturally, I insisted. Being your daughter, I was more fascinated than panicked. That’s my historical marginal note, I guess….

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