A Kind of Pied Beauty*
Gerard Manley Hopkins* thanked God for “dappled things…
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)”
And I had that feeling today encountering
A blind man and his blind daughter, faces fiercely resolute
And slender canes ponderously tapping
On the downtown platform at 34th Street.
But their “confidence” stopped me.
Then, moments later, they arrived (with me)
On the uptown platform…(maneuvering a tricky underpass)
This time I determined to “help”.
But, a young, non-English speaker had taken over
And despite his earnest efforts….father and daughter
Proudly sauntered on….knowing where they wanted to go.
And then (and here’s the pied beauty of it all)
I landed a comfortable seat just across from a beautiful woman from 1945…
Her gorgeous, thick grey hair swept back with a barrette,
Her mink coat serenely wrapped around her…
Her hands gloved in tiny polka dots…white on a black ground…
And when I saw her matching polka dot umbrella…
I knew that, like GMH, I had truly had a pied beauty experience.
*“Pied Beauty” Gerard Manley Hopkins (1918)