In the captured shadow shows of an idealized dream, Lord Byron’s words come to mind: “She walks in beauty, like the night.”
Fog drifts along the shore; and traces of it
resembling a ruffled sleeve
or skirt hem skimming the tide
suggests a woman’s presence.
Low in the sky, the moon looks
at a cottage once owned
by a sea captain
and the wind seems to ask
rifling through leaves
and bird feathers left
on its window ledge,
Mrs. Muir, is that you?
In a house, candles stutter ( grievously)
on each side of a woman’s portrait
as if hesitant
to mention her name
when the room knows
she may be permanently gone
Bodiced in black velvet
with her face frozen
in seductive grace, she haunts the detective
who stares at her features.
He lights a cigarette and smoke mingles
with the scent of flowers on the mantle.
The vase reminds him
of an amphora — but outside, it’s raining
and pine breathes pungently
through the shutters. He hears the sound
of high heels on cobblestone
and reaches for the door. His voice soft —
Laura, is that you?
At a bistro table, a woman sits inhaling
the warmth of coffee and croissants. Signing
a photo of herself, she smiles at no one or everyone
passing by. Everything about her
seems ageless, luminous as the photo.
She doesn’t consume the beverage
or buttered bread – but continually waits
for someone to remember, to ask.
Her signature filigreed
like the rim of a cemetery gate — And I whisper
Gene, is that you?
Note- I have often been a fan of the glamorous actress and her classic movies including the haunting film, “The Ghost And Mrs.Muir”, The mystery drama, Laura” about a missing woman and a man obsessed with her portrait and others. This poem focuses on her presence through past movie scenes and her spectral presence at a charming bistro.