The enigma seems tied in with the landscape behind her.
What is your secret, donna bruna?
The countryside pulls greens of a lake
into the corners of your mouth.
The light hovers there, and it matters
that the road behind you spirals,
tapers off toward the west,
that a bridge softens curiously
against the deep curve of your back.
How calmly you accept this condition,
one hand crossing the other, light caught
forever in the folds of skin, caught
in the lunar precipices beyond.
The air clouds with mist,
and the landscape changes
to Florentine streets
where a woman smiles desperately,
radiant creature locked in a pose,
the artist painting
at the end of a road.
Femina scura, he should let you go.
The light vanishes from skies.
Your eyes fill with years.
Four centuries, and your eyes,
donna bruna, as intense
as the day the artist leaned
you against the studio wall,
your shadow cast upon the floor.
He should let you go.
Already, fog crosses the lake,
rising toward the veiled sky,
toward a woman running
over luminous hills
where the wind passes over
like a crazed bird, calling
no need, no need to turn back now.
“Donna Bruna” first appeared in Day Tonight / Night Today and in the author’s collection, Contrary Visions (SCRIPTA HUMANISTICA, ©1988). The poem was anthologized in Montpelier: Plus 4, 1980 –1984 and In a Certain Place (SCOP Publications, Inc., ©2000). It also appears in the author’s books, Greatest Hits 1981 –2000 (Pudding House Publications, ©2001) and in These Flecks of Color: New & Selected Poems (San Francisco Bay Press, ©2018).
Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda served as Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2006-2008. She holds a Ph.D. degree from George Mason University, where she received the university’s first doctorate, an Outstanding Academic Achievement and Service Award, and a Letter of Recognition for Quality Research from the Virginia Educational Research Association for her dissertation. She has co-edited three anthologies and published eight books of poetry, including The Embrace: Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, winner of the Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award. Carolyn also works as an abstract colorist artist. [www.carolynforonda.com]
The Ekphrastic Review
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