In most towns you’ll find a woman

in the corner of the square

propped like a doll.


She has no voice unless

someone’s hand is under her shirt.

If you choose to photograph her,


you will see she has no mouth

and if you stare long enough,

no arms either.


Though she is fed and dressed

by the good women, who buzz

and cluck, put on her face,


carefully cover her hair,

tie a wedding ring

on a scarlet ribbon


around her neck, she sits alone,

smile tight; eyes bright;

her only defense.

Photo by Axel Naud