after Mary Powell
The matron’s eyes are dark, and hollow.
Her skirt is an indistinct pleated gray,
while a darted white blouse billows
below the boat-necked breast
and above an elasticized waist.
The flowers in her hands—are they
tulips, and shafts of red-pink gladiolus?
A tea-time pinky juts from a delicate fist.
But the most precise detail of this portrait
is the Navy-scalloped border of the lapel…
or perhaps the sharply-brushed fold
just below her subject’s left collarbone:
a simple dab of yellow, and one bold stroke.
Ask why. Arrange the pinky, the lapels,
and that precious fold in your virtual vase.
You have plucked them from an artist’s soul.