could keep Evelyn at bay;
she was vivacious:
her spirit needed to soar
over all the petty people
in their pretentious poses.
in her own,
she should appear to her descendants as
nothing less than
they will so cleverly discern that
this is the woman
whose voyage to the States
she'd documented fervently
in the galloping French of her homeland;
each day she wrote,
no matter how distasteful, rude
the 'dirty' Italians were
or how poorly the beer
matched that of Europe --
the curse of a cruise ship's offering.
the stateliness of set shoulders,
the beadiness of darkened eyes
would speak of her will to live
while others fell to plagues
they were doomed to contract,
unable to dispel contaminated blood
even for their lifelines:
Evelyn's story had not yet been told.
she would not depart
until she was sure
she would be remembered,
and most accurately at that.
her portrait could not betray her
a century and a half later:
severe features in face had been softened
by love's unassuming touch;
the journey from Switzerland
had been more than stake for opportunity --
it had been her fortuitous fate.
hair gathered neatly under full-brimmed hat,
hands folded and positioned squarely
on her lap, pressed to perfection,
she was clearly faithful
not only as eager wife
but also as ardent mother
and most importantly
as a lady who'd created this life
she would be thought admirable.
she would be thought persistent.
and should the muted tones of her dress,
the impenetrable high-collared blouses
or the sheer absence of force-fed grin
then you have not taken measure
to properly know her