The Little Girl in the Painting
She looks right at you. She had looked at him
with frank impatience, eyes dark with defiance,
and chances that she’d sit still long were slim,
but girl and painter formed a brief alliance,
and he caught lightning dressed in dainty boots,
a white-clad doll with her own doll in hand--
though something stingy in her grin refutes
her docile slouch. What fee did she demand?
A piece of chocolate cake? A game of tag?
An outing to the beach, or to the zoo?
Her concentration seems about to flag
as one toe kicks the other, and you too
can see what Sargent saw—those boots disclosing
the fee she’d like to charge him: no more posing.
Jean L. Kreiling
Jean L. Kreiling is the author of two poetry collections, Arts & Letters & Love (2018) and The Truth in Dissonance (2014); her work has won the Able Muse Write Prize, the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters Sonnet Contest, and three New England Poetry Club prizes, among other honours. In her day job, she teaches music history at Bridgewater State University, and contributes articles on music and poetry to academic journals.
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