Edward Hopper: Chop Suey 1929
The young woman’s gaze is a shadow.
In her lap, her hands hide as well.
The red bow of her mouth is strung
taut against the light blanching her white.
Who has not found themselves
here at this uncomfortable table?
To place a hand in the cool valley
between the shoulder blades of the other woman.
To tip the daughter’s chin up—lift her eyes.
Doesn’t she see how much she is
like her mother? Look how
their shoulders slope, their hats pulled low
against the drafty chill of the restaurant.
The distance across the table
isn't as far as it appears.
See now the teapot between them--
how both could reach it
with barely any effort at all.
Carol McMahon is a teacher and poet whose work has been published, or is forthcoming, in various journals (IthacaLit, The Wild Word, The Ekphrastic Review, Prodigal, Claudius Speaks, Clockhouse, Painted Bride Quarterly, Stone Canoe) and has a chapbook, On Any Given Day, published by FootHills Press. McMahon received an MFA in Poetry from the Rainier Writing Workshop in Washington State and, when she is not with 11-year-olds, spends her time either running or rowing.
The Ekphrastic Review
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