After Seeing Chardin’s Still Life with Game (1750s)
She ate once of wild boar,
dark meat cooked to falling off the bone
in red wine, onion and thyme.
Plated on a silver truncheon, bathed in juices,
decorated with sweet cherries, golden currants,
carrots with leafy stems still attached,
the air sang its ripeness.
She ate, tearing pink and tender strips,
brown-red juices staining the rough table,
her hands and mouth coloured boar.
There were no rules here; no white tablecloth,
no silver or fine crystal, no upholstered chairs
or chandelier, so she let the juices run down
her neck, the front of her dress, onto the floor
until undone. Bread became fork and spoon,
she suppressed her desire to lick the plate
and ate without speaking, but laughed
well and loud and long,
eager to shield her dish with her arm,
to claim it, never yield it, keep it secret,
the face in the mirror one she didn’t recognize
as her own, but a wild thing.
Summer Hardinge loves good stories and her Maryland garden. After teaching English for 21 years, she writes for herself and with her writing community. Summer is a certified Amherst Writers and Artists facilitator and gives workshops in the Washington D.C. area. To see her website firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ekphrastic Review
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