Cocke County Backdrop; The Way Girls Stand in Pictures

The Way Girls Stand in Pictures

We never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves.
—John Berger

Arms tight
to their sides,
best leg wedged
forward, one foot
forms a neat
angle to the arch
of the other.
Cheeks pinched pink,
squeezing dimes
beneath their skirts,
they face the camera
and do not blink.

Their smiles
are universal,
a strand of pearls.

Future beauty queens
or secretaries
of state, they keep
their legs crossed
and do not look down
at the wide-eyed,
armless rabbit
that will be gone
by dusk, removed
by some groundskeeper,
or its particular
silence pooling
in the ear’s red boat.