This is a "photograph poem". I love writing from photographs. It's an excuse for nostalgia, and if you are patient, others' nostalgia is as interesting as your own.
I have seen many times the women in this poem, mostly in supplementary history texts. We see these women and are bored - row on row of grey-faced, unsmiling non-individuals, stiff, starched, uninteresting. The most I have ever felt for them is mild sympathy - not that they needed it, unaware as they were that life would ever be different. Ruth Dallas has done an admirable job of bringing to life these cardboard cut-out figures from a bygone era.
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