I was supposed to be the subject
Of a painting. Something with a bit
Of haze, maybe a light red tint,
A background of reeds leading
To open water. Birds – but way off,
And painted more precisely than
Anything in the foreground. Perhaps I
Would be in a dress, or draped
Like the goddess Diana, or possibly
Delicately naked, twisted
At the hip, seen from the back.
There could be a tree, perhaps Spanish
Moss. The painter is yet to decide.
But I have been cut out of the production.
The figure now is to be nondescript,
The light all second hand. There will be
Something ominous closing in. Had I been
The subject, the painting’s elements
Would have conspired against me. My own
Children, regarding the painting in place of
Lunch, would not have recognized me.
But for me to have known that the effort
Was mine, who the misty unrecognizable
Woman was, and the effort to gather it all
Together, would have been comforting.