Bemoaning me (unwed at twenty-five),
my needy father saw my art as a draw,
as if a future dowry. He contrived
how I’d impress a potential father-in-law:
I’d paint myself arrayed in lace and satin
at the harpsichord to lay a claim
to yet another skill, and scribe some Latin
worth a lot–virginem by my name.
This art impressed; the two fathers decided
I’d wed this man I’d never met. Soon Gian
began assisting me at work. His pride
survived the gossip, as did his impish grin:
“Evirato,” he knew the neighbours said.
Eleven babies put that barb to bed.
Barbara Lydecker Crane
virginem (Latin): virgin
evirato (Ital.): emasculated
Barbara Lydecker Crane, a finalist for the 2017 and the 2019 Rattle Poetry Prize, has won awards from the Maria Faust Sonnet Contest, the Helen Schaible Sonnet Contest, and others. She has published three chapbooks: Zero Gravitas (White Violet Press, 2012), Alphabetricks (Daffydowndilly Press, 2013), and BackWords Logic (Local Gems Press, 2017). Her poems have appeared in The Ekphrastic Review, First Things, Light, Lighten-Up-Online, Measure, Rattle, Think, Writer’s Almanac, and several anthologies. She is also an artist.
The Ekphrastic Review
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