A Snap Quiz in Body Language
by David Wagoner
We can’t hear what they’re saying, but that man
is holding that woman in his arms. Your assignment
is to deduce their thoughts from what they do.
They’ve left no apparent space between their bodies.
It could be called a close embrace, but notice
her arms are at her sides, her hands relaxed,
her face impassive, while he’s whispering
something in her ear. His upper torso
is tilted slightly forward. Hers is yielding
but not in a way suggesting sweet surrender.
Is this a seduction scene? Is she being held
for questioning? Should she call a lawyer?
He’s looking into her eyes now. How wide open
would you say they are? What does he see in them?
If he were to let her go, class, what would she do?
“A Snap Quiz in Body Language” by David Wagoner from A Map of the Night. © University of Illinois Press, 2008. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)