Morning class, pajamas under raincoats
lights go down, anticipation up, slides make
a carriage ride from rural Virginia
to the Met, the Jeu de Paume,
Picasso’s aerie, Rodin’s atelier,
Monet’s garden, the Louvre,
to Paris, London and Bruges.
Dreams of being a painters’ muse
obsess classmates who study art
in Paris, come back wild and worldly,
loving Gauloises and red wine.
With the slide library for comfort
I whiled hours learning artists’ styles
brush strokes, subjects, light.
Fifty years on, a gift of such abundance
seems rare, yet here I am in the Met
with my old friend, Delacroix.
Near tears I view his restored
The Agony in the Garden, luminous white
skin, invisible brush strokes, lustrous
light from above. Perfection.
Betsy Holleman Burke
Betsy Holleman Burke is a poet and floral designer living in the Washington, DC area. Her poetry has appeared in Front Porch Review, Searching for Hummingbirds (a collection of her work) and the Surrey Street Poetry Anthology, 2018.
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