She stares at me from dark page

In black and white (O' how fitting)

And frowns at me in dark consternation.

Her lips look chapped and dry,

Her forehead and nose crinkled with

Confused, anxious, concerned lines

Her head is up though, and she stands proud

Even with creased white shirt and chequered

Skirt sneaking onto the edge of the paper.

She looks up at me, not with condemnation,

Although her eyes are deeper than first

Examination might conceive, and I wonder

At her thoughts, her feelings, her beliefs.

What was she thinking then? What is she

Thinking now? (If she is still alive, that is).

Others stare up at me from crowded cover,

But she is the one whom caught captive eye

And inspired imagination into fiery flight

Of fitful fancies and wonderment

And longing to go back, to learn,

To continue onwards improved

But I can only read the book's title

(One guessed, roughly, already)

"Sweet Land of Liberty?

The African-American Struggle for

Civil rights in the Twentieth Century"

And ache for that frowning woman

And long to iron away those creases

In friendly understanding.