Page 55 - November 2020
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55
                      Litterateur
                                                                                       November 2020
                           "The Woman in an Imaginary Painting"







                   Somewhere there are kings                        Her wasted gesture
                   and queens, princes, and                         moved the air
                                                                    and shook the light
                   princesses, all in their                         like silk fabric.

                   palaces. And we think,
                                                                    And then she held
                   Ah, royalty, and dream                           her pose and he
                   their lives instead of                           painted. We cannot
                                                                    see the air
                   living our own. If
                   we understood the world                          moving, of course,
                                                                    but like the butter-
                   as it actually is,                               fly effect, it matters.
                   we would know, wouldn't
                                                                    The painting hangs
                   we, that king and queen,                         in the stillness of
                   prince and princess aren't                       the museum, yet --



                   any more free than this                          seeing her -- you can
                   woman in the painting,                           feel the storm coming.


                   that not all of our
                   betters are better,


                   that not everything
                   bitter is bad.






               Tom Montag's books of poetry include: Making Hay & Other Poems; Middle Ground; The Big Book
               of  Ben  Zen;  In  This  Place:  Selected  Poems  1982-2013;  This  Wrecked  World;  The  Miles  No  One
               Wants;  Imagination's  Place;  Love  Poems;  and  Seventy  at  Seventy.  His  poem  'Lecturing  My
               Daughter  in  Her  First  Fall  Rain'  has  been  permanently  incorporated  into  the  design  of  the
               Milwaukee Convention Center. He blogs at The Middlewesterner. With David Graham he recently
               co-edited Local News: Poetry About Small Towns.He lives in Fairwater, WI
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