Reading Her Skull

because it’s close now
under her thrust pale skin,
catching every stranger’s eye
before they refocus
and rush to greet us
passing in the street

even when daylight drops
and she pulls on
a knit cap, you can tell
it’s close still,
pressing up hard under
the thin textured yarn

and bone shapes her eyes
now they’re shorn –
even the dark brows
that made her grave over books,
easy to spot in pictures,

she laughs nearing the house,
saying she believes now
in phrenology,
in that old science of self:
Here, character
Here, temperament 

while, walking still closer by
her side, I read it
differently, silently:
Here, destiny

Natalie Ford is originally from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She has recently returned to Bucks County after completing a PhD in Victorian literature and psychology at the University of York, England. Ford’s poetry has appeared in national and international journals.

Leave a Reply