More than just a photogenic face,
and you will need to work to know her
after you first earn her trust, patiently,
waiting for her to feel comfortable,
to want to spend more time with you
then safe enough to speak with you.

More than a woman, though that
will never be unimportant to her,
and should always matter to you,
she is a person, carrying her past
while being reshaped by now
and pondering future secrets.

This moment in candlelight,
yesterday at the beach,
tomorrow at the green grocers,
flashing eternities in her arms:
Learn what she feels of them.
Be worthy of their repetition.

(after the 1943 photograph by Olive Cotton)