They Were All There, Gleaming

Street side market, Upper Eastside, Manhattan Photo by Charlotte Hamrick, 2016

Without him, a faint image
became clearer.
The curtain hanging
before my eyes, flat and cold,
Over me, the jeweled colors appear
brighter than they were.


So, I worked my own prompt today, my version of an erasure poem. Erasure poems, to me, are too messy – you know, all that black marker. So I just take a block of text and search for words and phrases  and either underline or write them down as I go.

This poem was derived from the following paragraph in The Girl With the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (Penguin Books, 1999) which I have in ebook.

And I was curious. It became easier to consider it without him watching me. I took a deep breath and gazed down into the box. I could see on the glass a faint trace of the scene in the corner. As I brought the robe over my head the image, as he called it, became clearer and clearer—the table, the chairs, the yellow curtain in the corner, the back wall with the map hanging on it, the ceramic pot gleaming on the table, the pewter basin, the powder-brush, the letter. They were all there, assembled before my eyes on a flat surface, a painting that was not a painting. I cautiously touched the glass—it was smooth and cold, with no traces of paint on it. I removed the robe and the image went faint again, though it was still there. I put the robe over me once more, closing out the light, and watched the jeweled colors appear again. They seemed to be even brighter and more colorful on the glass than they were in the corner.

3 thoughts on “They Were All There, Gleaming

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