Jane is made of precious metal,
Polished copper, burnished brass,
Skin translucent as a petal,
And a smile like shattered glass.
Jane has enemies about her,
Poisoning her happiness,
And what they would do without her,
She is never moved to guess.
Jane finds adversaries napping,
And she renders them afraid,
With a voice like cashmere wrapping,
On a rusty razor blade.
All Jane’s plants and pets are splendid,
Nourished on organic guilt,
But the people that she’s tended,
Quite invariably wilt.
Jane loves flowers, rich confections,
Books and music, so she’s said.
To win pride of Jane’s affections,
One has only to be dead.
Jane is gentle as a kitten,
To the hand already burned,
And when she returns it, bitten,
Wonder that it got returned.
Jane is beautiful and clever,
Reigning mistress of the game,
And no loser left will ever
Be entirely the same.
Jane was broken when we met her,
All those many years ago.
Now they tell us she is better.
How, I wonder, do they know?
Taken from ‘Roughly Speaking’
(1991), page 59.