Rouff-Vinci

Mona

Ruth A. Rouff

Lying in bed
on my back and
listening to my
neighbors bicker
overhead in the
most vulgar way,
I derive consolation
from the fact
that somewhere
in the North Atlantic
or South Atlantic
or East Atlantic
fathoms deep but
not far away
there swims a
Great White
Shark – not
yet extinct and
certainly not
gentrified -
just swimming,
swimming in
cold, clean
waters – its
white belly
tissue soft but
icy, its black
eyes shifting
like ball-turrets,
the corners of
its untroubled
mouth curved
upward ever
so slightly -
a Mona
Lisa
smile.

Ruth A. Rouff was raised in southern New Jersey. She attended Vassar College on scholarship, where she studied English and Art History. She has been published in numerous literary magazines and currently teaches Language Arts in the Philadelphia public schools. She loves Italian Renaissance art.