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Dancing on the Sun by Helen Shanley

Dancing on the Sun by Helen Shanley

The art student called his water-color sketch
“Girl with Leaves,” sold it for lunch money.

Long curls relax over her shoulder.
Her wide white hat’s not drawn, but framed by sunlight;
the shadows all are pools of sun and leaves;
you know she’s firmly seated, but there’s something
airy about her total concentration
on the leaves (in her hands) that should be thrown away.

The artist has painted her just at the moment of freedom
when she’s not caught in anything more than leaves,
emerging fresh from her childhood’s chrysalis, held there
drawn to the leaves, waiting to dry her wings.

Now she’s become the cover of a book
written ten years later. Who wrote the book?
I, or the girl with leaves, or that perfect world
where we both dance forever on the sun?

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