Sitting for her portrait, Anna prepares for death:
idle hands, black dress, steel gaze,
spine straight; the pose a stiffness she can’t shake.
She wishes Whistler would work faster—
the room is drafty; her bones ache.
He was raised to be unsentimental.
He draws the drapes, elaborates a bit of lace;
mixes greys as if his grief might be constrained;
reminds himself: a model is a nesting doll
of shapes; art isn’t life— it just suggests.
This face is not his mother’s face, and yet…
painting her brow, her nose, her neck,
Whistler’s aesthetic distance vacillates.
Violeta Garcia-Mendoza is writer, photographer, and teacher. She lives with her family in Western Pennsylvania. More of her work can be found at https://www.violetagarciamendoza.com
The Ekphrastic Review
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