Carol Greene, Self-Portrait, 2009
You paint not troubled souls but harmony:
Calm, bare-armed girl, first flute. Gray-goateed man
in white shirt, humming, burps a grandbaby.
You smile in aqua turtleneck. I can
imagine how you tucked your photograph
beside this canvas, looked long, listened, chose
a slender brush, embarked on song of self:
One shadowed cheek, one bright. Peach hues for nose.
Reflected glints in oval lenses. Eyes—
like Alice’s, like mine— the useful blue
of ocean, sky, and wing that shimmer, rise,
and blur beyond your studio, same blue
as backdrop cradling white crown, each wrinkle, fold
of flesh. New, lilting hymn to women’s faces, old.
Previously published as Sonnet 7 of “Lighter than Her Lace: A Crown of Borrowed Self-Portraits” in Unsplendid’s July 2014 double issue on women and form 5.3 + 6.1 www.unsplendid.com
Carol Greene lives and paints in San Jose, California. Her portraits may be viewed at www.carolgreene.org/home/paintings