The Corner

The Portrait

Her face hung white and empty as a spoon.

She had resisted every breeze and flutter

That shuffled dead air through the shutter,

Propped up all morning in a pose.

To flush the color from that stilted rose

Was more than he could do that afternoon.

Perhaps a slip of light would catch her breath;

She stared through every shade that touched her skin,

Like a breathless doll or manikin.

So at noon when a bolt of live light struck

Her cheeks, he would rather stand and look;

The canvas stretched as blank and taut as death,

For one so seldom pictures such a tint,

Certainly nothing anyone could paint.

— From the October 14, 2013 issue of National Review.

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