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Portrait of the Artist as a Lone Tree


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The last lady

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I should have burned my bridges while I could,
and lost my politics to serve myself,
pursuing freedom's last unleftward elf,
who didn't think as others said she should.
A day-girl lady, not by birth, self-made,
and though the wealthy labelled her for low,
she went where none of them would ever go,
a Lady from the heart, no painted jade.
You were the last, the brightest and the best,
the girl who fought to be as she was forged;
in summer '83 I should have gorged
on you, not academia's pale quest.
Gone in a minute, nev'r again the chance
to capture you in love's romantic dance.

Your alabaster skin, your endless legs,
your slenderness, the force of female mind -
determinedly the last of womankind -
the last, but not the least; the draught, not dregs.
Yet after all this time, the cause you fought
is once again accepted as the norm -
no longer causing all the forceful storm
from those who only spoke as they were taught.
You kept alive the courtliness of queens,
insisting through your dress, your sex, your aims,
to set yourself aside from futile games
played all the age in sad fanatic scenes.
Last of the ladies, many thought; and yet
your foes, Dame Time has chosen to forget.

(day-girl; a girl who attends a residential school without residing there, living locally.)

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