(Purchased from a boutique in Montmartre)

(Poem by Wendy Howe )

Her apartment has no pets
to stroke or express the need
for gentle stillness. Turkish drama
unfolds as room blossoms into room.
Doors are left opened, ushering in
ruby walls and the scent
of roses crowning a brass samovar.

At times, she feels tightly sewn
into the lush decor
and rips herself free
retreating to a white sofa
that haunts the terrace.
A slight creature with clawed feet
and cushioned back, it echoes
leaf shadows and the soul of a woman
who kept her emeralds but shed
royalty because she could not bear
The Emperor's son.

Simply made, the couch suits
the vulnerable self and draws
a cool wind from the courtyard trees.
So she settles here when the inside world
seems to glare; her limbs and feelings
stretched out in a clearer light
and the seat of a fair-shouldered empress
who like her
was christened "Josephine".

© 2011, Wendy Howe. E-mail.
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