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the softest soft focus
on the bleached out face
of the famous old folk singer,
her features, once so strong,
so definite, half erased
by highlighting,
as if in mid-dissolve
to the next shot.

as a wraith
when she used to be
so vital, so present,
grounded as a tree,
an earthiness to her
that connected to the stars
and sun and sky.

now she is stripped
of personality,
rendered generic,
blonde and ironed out,
almost to the point
of invisibility.

her song remains
her monument,
vibrant, trenchant, true,
her stairway
to immortality.