Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Lady Unknown--By Jan Oskar Hansen--Portugal

A Lady Unknown

I have a photo of my grandmother, she looks so
young and beautiful, her hair glossy, but there
is a paleness about her and a sadness in her eyes,
It is a death has sought her out cast a net of illness
around her, ready to haul its catch and devour her.

I know little about her, where she came from, was
she an angel that found its way to my grandfather’s
heart, one who became human out of love but knew
she could not stay? When I look in the mirror and ask,
"Have I got your eyes?" She looks back at me in grief.

I say I know who you are, the lost, daughter of Manus
the one he expelled because he found kindness in
your heart? Her eyes, deep as mystery lakes in May,
look at me in silence, but I do see a flicker of an ironic
smile… or was she the lady of the camellias?

I see tears swell in her eyes, depression grips me
as heart ache of love betrayed, shall I ever know
who she is… this woman who bore five children
and died at 27. It can’t be so there must be more,
not only this forbidding silence of the untold.

Jan Oskar Hansen is a published poet from Portugal.


  1. Oh my, Jan. So touching your photograph put to words that only you can conjure.


  2. Truly amazing poem. Best wishes ralph.

  3. Your words penetrate me - I can see within the words you have written, feel the depth of your inquisitive mind as to who Grandmother was. Beautiful work, touching ones heart...

    Rhoda Galgiani