A Kind of Pied Beauty

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.

I hesitated

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)


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