If You Were to Meet Her

(16-17 April 1994) after William Wordsworth

If you were to meet her you would think you knew her, her trim body and trim manner, light as blossom in the light. When she would visit with her visiting smile, she and her smile would please you, but she would smile to get what she wanted, only you wouldn’t know what she wanted. A simple domestic gesture, boiling water for a simple pot of tea, could be interpreted as a degree of giving, an efficienty of caring, leading by degrees into a love in respect of differences, and the differences respecting the wonder of her blue eyes and prying ways, coming without guilt or complicating ways. If this were what you expected, she was perfectly what you expected, like imagining you knew an author from reading one of her novels, a character you imagined who lived on her own in your novel, neither owning nor owned, neither needy nor needed.