Victorian Portrait

At times we hold a paint brush for a self-portrait,
then are captured by another’s face.

The vanity mirror over the bonnet chest
hunted my image, creating a self-portrait,
and choraled my maze of human emotion
into the glassy eyes with fringed lids,
bossy curls, nomadic hairline,
purling mouth, with teeth like
knitting needles,
clickety-clack, purl, purl.

My scarf of faith had the same quality
of seven church services, only more colourful,
with wool singing an hymn
of having once been carded, spun,
and dyed. Now the lamb saw
her practical purpose, in giving
of the fleece that would start white as snow,
then drift into other bright-hued shades.

Emily Isaacson

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