The painter makes his lady look resigned,
Defenseless, hot, and wilting in her chair.
The setter is relaxed and calls to mind
A pampered lap dog seasoned to the air
Of wealth and comfort. Madame’s pale blue gown
Has silken ruffles, while the drapery
Reflects the scorching sun. Her eyes of brown
Lapse inward. Neither surface flattery
Nor aspect of conceit shows in her face.
Offhandedly, she’s holding out a book
That’s lying partly open out of place.
The gentle woman may not want to look
Beyond. Perhaps she knows her future lies
In never-spoken thoughts and no surprise.
© Alice Park 1996
Published in Hellas Vol. 7, Number 1, Spring/Summer 1996