Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In the Balance


Notice how she waits in expectation,
contemplating maybe, just how justice works.
Does she sense it hangs on holding steady?
Does she sense unbalance in the end?

Doesn't she look like somehow she might not know
that the weight she holds so level will shift as on a whim?

One little thought falling like a feather or one wrong move heavy as a soul;
one of her decisions, shiny as a pearl or light as a pocketful of poesy--
just one small word and the world can lose its balance.
Just wash it from her hands and it all falls down.


  1. A strong start with those first two lines and the thought worked out in the succeeding lines.

  2. Beautiful Libran poem, Karen. And so timely!

  3. Dave and Willow - Thanks to you both, but I've done some revision and re-posting, so I hope you like it now.

  4. And yet, people like that seem to infuse their calm into the world itself.

  5. i love vermeer's works.
    and i guess she is pregrant for a reason in this picture. and your thoughts describe one potential interpretation so neatly.

  6. "Just one small word and the world can lose its balance." A very wise and beautiful poem.

  7. Smart poem here Karen. Particularly liked the final verse.

  8. the first time through i was thinking about justice - how slippery it can be, how hard to pin down. then i noticed she was pregnant, and read it again, and it was a totally different poem. and it stopped my heart for a minute.

    it's not the things we put so much effort into sometimes - it's the little, thoughtless things than can leave the biggest impressions on little people. for better or for worse. which is sobering and scary and so, so important. i love this.

  9. Your poem is filled with the same luminosity and reverence that was captured by Vermeer in this painting! This sparkles with wisdom and erudition.

  10. Karen, the writing is always grand to read. I think maybe she contemplates the fragility of balance and how one small breeze can make all in error.

  11. I've always loved Vermeer's light and shade - they are in fine balance like your words.