Two 19th century girls seated between
barrel and basket, the older’s small posed hands,
ethereal as her complexion,
near-lost in the sleeves of the boating
The younger one balanced
a blue-brimmed hat, a small garden
of flowers for trim. Aslant--
the girls’ eyes turn in opposite directions.
Beyond the terrace, the flow
of the Seine. The ruminative face
of the girl in blue or the dovelike blue eyes
of the one in white dress.
I’m hooked. Is it the saturated colour
of bittersweet red, the skeins of yarn
in the basket? The detail of the sash
trailing in the sweep
between elbow and waist?
Bodies that did not seem to touch.
Posed like my childhood
black-and-whites. My sister and I.
In spring dresses, ankle socks, patent leather
Mary Janes. We were artists’ models,
arms locked at our sides. Sisters.
Doing what we were told.
These days our eyes, lives, angle
in opposite directions.
Our words nettle.
Gail Goepfert is a poet, amateur photographer, and teacher. Currently, she is an associate editor of RHINO Poetry and teaches online English courses for Rasmussen College. Her first chapbook, A Mind on Pain, was released by Finishing Line Press in early in 2015. Recent publications include Blue Lyra, Crab Orchard and Jet Fuel Reviews, Florida English, Examined Life Journal, and Room Magazine. Her photographs appear online at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Olentangy Review, 3Elements Review and on the cover of February 2015 Rattle. She lives, writes, and snaps photos in the Chicagoland area. More about her photography and poetry at gailgoepfert.com.
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