White on White
From afar, she might be a nun praying over a rise
of thuribled frankincense, her meditation pure, lofting
through the vaulted sanctuary. Or a noble costumed
in sedge hat and ceremonial robes, giving her the mien
of a caryatid. Expectant mother asking blessing?
Haloed angel come to earth? We move closer:
claret nails, rouged lips, kohled eyes.
Bedecked in silver fibulae, she raises a jeweled finger,
assures our distance; perhaps her trance aphrodisial,
she, a courtesan—tented veil a gesture of lift
away from stone and marble, the mean limits of the day.
Halted in this sacred moment, the soft-lit afternoon--
contemplating an ecstasy, lush arc of a lover.
Bernadette McBride is author of three poetry collections, her most recent, Whatever Measure of Light, Kelsay Books 2016. Her poems have appeared in the UK, in numerous U.S. journals and anthologies, and on PRIs The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has received several honors, including selection as the 2009 Pennsylvania Poet Laureate for Bucks County, and taking second-place for the International Ray Bradbury Writing Award. She serves as poetry co-editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal, and welcomes your visit at: bernadettemcbrideblog.wordpress.com
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