The Argyle Girl

She watched the laundry;
Sloshing, spinning.
Maybe it was the spin cycle - 
An electromagnetic field,
Pulling the socks through a vortex.

She had never really minded
Being invisible;
She even preferred to sit
In the back of the classroom,
Quietly hiding behind someone tall.

She put the clothing into the dryer.
Tumbling, twirling.
Another electric field,
Like the purring engine of the bus,
Or the magnetic core of the microphone.

Once in awhile it hurt.
She'd speak out,
Her voice falling on deaf ears;
She'd timidly step forward,
But somehow remain unseen.

She pulled the socks from the dryer,
Knowing what she'd find.
The argyle was missing;
It must have gone through a black  hole
Into a parallel universe.

She tried to resign herself
To being overlooked.
She expected to wait for her turn
After everyone behind her.
Invisibility did teach her patience.

She toyed with an orphan argyle, 
Pondering the destiny of its mate;
And wondered if she could twist
A sock into a Möbius strip
Or mold it into a Klein bottle.

She wondered if she would ever
Leave the shadows
And be acknowledged
By the world around her.
The foolish thought brought a smile.

She looked again for the argyle,
Knowing it was gone.
She had been there countless times, 
Transported to that invisible dimension;
Present, but unseen.

Betty Jean Swartz
1995, revised 2/17/97.

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Copyright ©  1995-2005 BJ Swartz
Posted 17 February 1997