A woman in a peach slip--
remember slips?--sitting on the bed’s edge
reads a piece of paper held like a tray:
thumbs on top, fingers underneath.
A lover’s note of apology?
The docent says train schedule.
I am old enough to know,
yes, they looked like that.
The hotel room a spare but complicated
space—it is a Hopper, after all.
Absorbed by what she reads,
the woman--Jo, his wife, again that docent--
sits framed within a frame. Her day clothes
laid with care across the chair, suitcase and valise
unopened where she dropped them,
the yellow window shade three-quarters
down against the flat black night.
Kicked-off heels her one untidy moment
as she undressed, sat to read,
lamplight illuminating her thighs.
Wendy Hawken: "I live on a grass farm in the northern Shenandoah Valley where the weather means more than what clothes to wear. In 2005 I earned an MFA in Poetry at Warren Wilson College’s Program for Writers, decades after a BA in English literature. Previous publications include three chapbooks plus two full collections, The Luck of Being (2008) and White Bird (2017) a sequence about my husband’s battle with cancer."
The Ekphrastic Review
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