Al Que Quiere!/Sympathetic Portrait of a Child

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Al Que Quiere!  (1917) 
William Carlos Williams
Sympathetic Portrait of a Child
Boston: The Four Seas Company pages 54-55

 
The murderer's little daughter
who is barely ten years old
jerks her shoulders
right and left

so as to catch a glimpse of me
without turning round.

Her skinny little arms
wrap themselves
this way then that
reversely about her body!
Nervously
she crushes her straw hat
about her eyes
and tilts her head
to deepen the shadow—
smiling excitedly!

As best as she can
she hides herself
in the full sunlight
her cordy legs writhing
beneath the little flowered dress
that leaves them bare
from mid-thigh to ankle—

Why has she chosen me
for the knife
that darts along her smile?