Margarethe gives you
both of her eyes,
all of her attention.

A plaid wool scarf
is wrapped around her head,
tied at the throat,
and dangles like pigtails
over the checkered apron
on top of a wool sweater
whose sleeves she rolled up.

Stubby hands cross
on the top of the handle
of the shovel she holds.
Swollen, knobby fingers
pull apart, rejoin, intersect.

That shock of pure white
hair escaping from beneath
the shawl trails one wisp
over the crown of her nose,
another brushes the birdfeet
wrinkles beneath left eye.

When you give all
of your eye to those
luminous eyes that
still take you in

what you see is
the young woman
who stands there
with Margarethe beneath
the layers of years.

-Norbert Krapf

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