Where did her fear go?
Perhaps she just quit her husband
around the corner from the Hotel de Ville,
perhaps she no longer wants to make
her marriage work, so that when German
snipers began shooting she had already
made up her mind to stand, wearing
sunglasses, a black dress while the rest
curl on the ground. Someone
like James Joyce in a straw hat blindly
looks up at her. Perhaps days before
she was one of those who redded
American GIs with kisses
liberators smacked wildly into captivity
their lipsticks hoarded for this moment.
The rifle shots were unexpected hail,
squawk of crows, and hundreds
folded to the ground. In the background
some already rise, or never fell,
unaware of the danger.
But Capra's one woman standing
in her black dress, of the already risen,
cannot shake her sense war must end,
and now, even now, it is done.
It might be her remaining dress, her best dress,
or she mourns a man sent to a camp,
one she has stopped loving, or someone she
can never stop loving but it is time
to end it. Her small button honors
the Resistance, her hand is on her head.
And she forgets the ways
she loved, even the memory
of his voice makes her wonder
how she loved him, all mixed
and twisted with the click of rain.

Page Dougherty
PAGE DOUGHERTY's poems have been published widely, in Kenyon Review, Agni, American Voice, Antioch Review, and Prairie Schooner. Her poetry collection, No One with a Past Is Safe, was published this year by Word Press.