Persuasions #13, 1991                                                                                                                                  Pages 27

 

At Jane Austenís Grave

 

MAGGIE HUNT-COHN

Austell, GA

 

 

She wrote the perfect

woman role for Jane,

gave Elizabeth rebel words,

made her her fatherís favorite

 

and his judge, her motherís

bewilderment and fulfillment

of her dearest dream.

Was calling Jane by her own name

 

telling us what she hoped to be.

Her letters speak more like

Elizabeth or even Mary Crawford,

whom she consigned to

 

single purgatory, damned

after knowing heaven

and refusing it.Janeís mouth

drawn by Cassandra is sour.

 

Her family knew her whole.

Laying her to rest,

they chose to show

their Jane as her mask

 

beloved sister, aunt and daughter,

Christian, a silhouette enlarged

for strangers by her readers

who emblazoned on the nearby

 

wall a guide to the Jane

who hid herself writing

behind a squeaking door

and then was happy.

 

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