Cheeks pink from skipping, a girl, teeth
missing, grins at her name. She swings
her legs, asks the candle, will it tickle?
She stifles a giggle as her aunt’s nimble
quill catches the shadow of her likeness,
doll’s leg in loose fingers.
But now the silhouette’s a shroud, details
obsolete like an old coin rubbed clean.
Gold-enclosed, nose backwards-pointed:
this stencil could be any preserved girl
hung in a dustless manor house museum.
A date and shape, no name.
Image: Frederick Cooper by Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland