An ordinary woman

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

Her eyes are normally curtain less windows into an abandoned flat
seen at twilight and reflects nothing but the approaching night.
There are times though
when there are flashes from the flats interior
that’s when she remembers her late husband’s dagger stabbing mind.
He used to call her stupid; he was she says:
Intellectually arrogant, words spoken slowly and with relish.
When he went into hospital, where also he died,
she didn’t visit him once,
and obviously to be intellectually arrogant
is an offense punishable by death.

For me she has put curtains and flowers in the windows,
so why should I want to look inside her flat?
If I pushed the pot plants aside
I would find heavy and bright polished furniture,
on walls a picture of herself when young
and pleasant paintings of lakes, rivers and animals,
perhaps a piano inherited but never played
only there to give a cultural ambience,
akin to knowing the names of famous writers and composers,
no need to read or listen to their work.

She’s an ordinary woman, not slim
but thinks she still looks like the picture of her youth,
so why should I gainsay her?
I don’t believe in robbing people of their illusions (got some of my own)
She isn’t a beacon, a flashing light across a dark ocean
and I’m not a ship seeking a safe haven from the stormy sea,
I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to be academically haughty with her.