radiating obscure corners,
long rays finding dim walls
in darker paneling
rarely visited by sun-scour.
The portrait of young Mrs. Moffatt,
bundled in dark nineteenth century clothes
her delicate face above muffling collar,
comes to life. Fair hair, opening eyes
stare back at this annual meeting.
The watch, pinned to her bodice, glistens
with an old count of time unfulfilled.
So young, so lovely, surprised to be dead.
Married to a large man, her child too big
for that small frame. She died of that birthing,
never to mother her over-size daughter.
Her portrait carried to each family event
by a husband who never thought to be parted.
She returns to greet descendants every solstice,
slides back into darkness when the long rays shorten again,
receding from the niche of her unlit tomb.
Katherine L. Gordon
last week of May, 2015