Gather ye …
She has gathered her rosebuds
and now must hold them in a silver bowl
until the painter is done with her pose.
Her wrists hurt, her neck hurts.
She would like to close her mouth
for a while, and her eyes.
She would prefer to pose again
as Ophelia lying down.
She is beautiful
to be painted with roses,
silver and gold and brocade.
The painting will be here
in another time, long after
age and its thorns have taught her to reflect
that if she had been less beautiful
she might have less to regret.
Judith Steele is Australian. Her poetry or prose has appeared in journals in Darwin and Adelaide, and on several websites including The Animist, The Merida Review, and Strange Poetry. Most recently her poetry has been published in the print journal Gobshite Quarterly (Portland, OR) and in Mused BellaOnline http://www.bellaonline.com/review/issues/summer2018/p008.html