She remembers her father’s blue eyes

In a country of dark-eyed men
his eyes were anomaly—

Cloudy blue like stones dredged
from the river’s shallow depths,

myth of a town somewhere in Spain
that gave him his middle name.

He was stern as a citadel
or a fortress on a hill,

then disarming as the old-
world charm of a soft wax seal.

Childless forty years before she
came along, broken open he curated

every simple line drawing,
doted on her childish scrawl.

Her declamations and arpeggios
were dedicated to him, paragon

of perfection, industrious at
virtue. Even now, at the whiff

of Old Spice or English Leather,
she straightens her spine, checks

the angle of the ruler; lays
the curve of letters on paper

before carefully blotting
the fountain pen’s tip.

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