Street in Venice
after a painting by John Singer Sargent
This woman walks along the street
with care, eyes downcast,
black shawl gripped tight
demure demeanor well portrayed.
One of the men
- the one propped casually against the wall –
looks askance at her passing form.
Is she an improper sort of woman or
the right sort at the wrong place, the wrong time?
Out too early or too late, no fitting escort in sight?
Is her face too fresh,
the flower in her hair too brash?
Does the flounce of her white gown
ride high as she walks, promising
a glimpse of slender ankle?
Is it simply in the nature of men,
some men, to look askance?
by W.M. Herring
W.M. Herring graduated from UBC (Vancouver, BC) with degree in Honours Computer Science. She now runs a B&B on rural property near Prince George in north-central BC. Her work has appeared in several publications including ARC Poetry, Literary Review Canada (LRC), The Nashwaak Review, Christian Century and Queen’s Quarterly.
The Ekphrastic Review
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