Portrait of Dora, Recovered*
You smile your calm blue smile
Beneath your fabulous fascinator
Under the jaunty orange and yellow bow
Glimpsed through Picasso’s prism
Artist and lover
Your black-rimmed eyes intrigue
Stolen from a royal sheik’s yacht
For twenty years
In drug and gun deals
Consumed by fire
or rotting in a garbage dump
Yet thieves could not destroy you
Too mercurial to hold
They sent you back
To the “Indiana Jones” of art detectives
Who hunted you
Who said he had to have you on his wall
for just one night
Your blue smile still calm
Your colours explode
like a nova across cyberspace
Your kaleidoscope whirls
You once said,
“All portraits of me are lies.”
*Picasso’s portrait of Dora Maar (painted in 1938, but never before exhibited publicly) hung in Picasso’s home until his death. In 1999, it disappeared from a private collection until its recovery in 2019. Maar, a noted surrealist photographer and landscape painter had a relationship with Picasso for almost 10 years.
Elizabeth Fletcher’s poems have appeared in The Schuylkill Valley Journal, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Ariel Chart, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, The Lost Orchard Anthology, and Plum Tree Tavern. Her nature essays have appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer. She has a B.A. in English from Hamilton College and a Master’s degree in Technical Communication from Drexel University. She was a writer and editor for a medical education company for many years and is now a freelance writer.
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