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For Alma Mirell on the Occasion of her Dream

Defended, May 2011

There in the impenetrable chamber


where sonnets only go to die, a girl
she was no longer but a young woman,
Alma, who wiped away derision’s snarl,

Who proclaimed to all : undocumented


And unafraid. Wrists that had held her pen
locked within the cuffs of education
which she had claimed, and earned, and defended.

When she spoke of what she planned and along


the way found answers she regaled with Thought,
to bridle it, behold the sky at last
which cradles what from Dreams had been cast Out

and yet redeemed, erudite abundance:


a vow, an oath, a cap, and golden tassel.