early evening algebra
- Charles Simic
The madwoman went marking X’s
With a piece of school chalk
On the backs of unsuspecting
Hand-holding, homebound couples.
It was winter. It was dark already.
One could not see her face
Bundled up as she was and furtive.
She went as if wind-swept, as if crow-winged.
The chalk must have been given to her by a child.
One kept looking for him in the crowd,
Expecting him to be very pale, very serious,
With a chip of black slate in his pocket.