They're having no truck with obesity,
no penchant for butties and buns,
shunning burger bars, chocolate, and sugary drinks;
they wear their good habits like nuns.
They pound through the pool before breakfast,
completing their customary lengths,
spend hours at the gym, emerging so trim
that they turn all their weakness to strength.
Admiring each other's sleek outlines,
in leggings and leotards dressed,
they smooth down their minimal bulges
and cover the rest with their vests.
In the long afternoons they spend sitting
with admirable calm and repose
they nibble at fruit and at lettuce
whilst the artist remodels their toes.
Chosen for litheness and vigour,
they take up their arduous pose
and the artist himself, Amadeo,
paints the girl that is wearing a rose.
The hours they put in in the mornings
once the pains in their muscles abate
are worth all the strain and the struggle
to the caryatid bearing the weight.
As he sculpts and he smooths and he brushes
his women are coming to light
imbued with the artist's own vision
of what makes a good woman look right.
This poem was first published at London Grip New Poetry.
Julia Duke is a writer of poetry and creative non-fiction, inspired by the landscape and people of England, Wales and the Netherlands where she has made her home(s). She is a lover of nature and of artworks, of quirky ideas and connections of all kinds. Ekphrasis gives her the opportunity she needs to express her love of both art and storytelling. Her first poetry pamphlet Conversations was published in September 2021 by Dempsey & Windle. It takes a look at our successes and failures in the search for intimacy, including a number of ekphrastic poems to explore the theme.
The Ekphrastic Review
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