She maintained an aura of what she
imagined was elegance, a carefully
constructed persona carried out
in the most careful details.
Her furniture had slipcovers, lest
someone spill and mar the fabric,
a tea cart always at the ready
although I never saw her serve tea.
She spoke with carefully chosen
words, certainly not the vernacular
of the city, perhaps of London
where she had been born.
Those she met would never guess
that this was the same woman, who
on the death of her husband, wielded
a baseball bat in the liquor store
she operated in the heart of downtown,
one she had used on one occasion
once enough that the word got out.