Penelope Scambly Schott


Imagine, you ladies whom I have made lovely, imagine this:

To stand like a fence post or a weathered snag or even a wide ceramic pot of withered marigolds, collecting the falling snow on the top of my head.

First the snow would catch in the ends of my hair and it might even melt a little from the heat of my scalp, but then there would begin to be a white blanket. It would start to mound up.

To stand abandoned like a broken garden stool. To become an old scarecrow with a crownless straw hat. To age among white furrows. To accumulate falling flakes.

To be still as a rock. To remain so absolutely still that the snow neither shifts nor blows, only compacts a little under its own flocked weight.

To wait here beyond slow dark until the snow clouds part and a shiver of moonlight casts blue shadows across the crusting field.

To hold my head straight and steady.

Now, that will be such a hat, a magnificence, to wear in the Church of Beauty Unnameable. When at last I bow down at the altar, my bared head will glitter. Ladies, it will flame.