Upon Seeing Nude in the Box, 1962
"Light is my inspiration, my paint and brush. It is as vital as the model herself.”
~ Ruth Bernhard, photographer
To be certain, there are those days,
the ones too filled with doings,
when I feel laid to rest, boxed
like Bernhard’s nude, reclining, restricted,
not able to stretch myself beyond the edges
obligations draw. Why move when movement
only finds constraint? Why try to stand
when horizontal planes arrest
an impulse to arise.
There is the slightest yearning in this nude, her arm
extended just beyond her head, grasping
space beyond the box, hoping
for beyond. For me,
when I can glimpse the corners of my life beyond
my captive self, I’m inclined to toss,
to turn, to rotate to the perpendicular,
to let my arms and legs propel me to beyond,
to unencumbered light that paints
away the darkness of this life, at times
too busy to see beyond.
Barbara Simmons grew up in Boston, now resides in San Jose, California –the two coasts inform her poetry. A graduate of Wellesley, she received an MA in The Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins. As a secondary school English teacher, she loved working with students who inspired her to think about the many ways we communicate. Retired, she savors smaller parts of life and language, exploring words as ways to remember, envision, celebrate, mourn, always trying to understand more about human-ity. Publications have included, among others, The Quince, Santa Clara Review, Hartskill Review, Boston Accent, NewVerse News, Soul-Lit, 300 Days of Sun, Writing it Real, Capsule Stories: Isolation Edition, & OASIS.
The Ekphrastic Review
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