Sunday, April 2, 2017

ArtSpeak! Portraits poem "The Lady Confesses"

Hello and Happy National Poetry Month! Here it is, day 2 of ARTSPEAK!: Portraits, my National Poetry Month poem-a- day project, during which I am looking, listening with my spirit ear, and asking these subject to share with me their secrets.

But first: be sure to check out the Tabatha's line of our 2017 Progressive Poem over at The Opposite of Indifference!

And here are the poems so far:

Today I've got another woman for you -- "Portrait of a Lady with Mask and Cherries" by Benjamin Wilson. She's not famous like yesterday's Mona Lisa. And instead of the Mona Lisa's mystery, she's got an air of defiance, or challenge about her. Here is what she told me about herself:

The Lady Confesses
-after "Portrait of a Lady with Mask and Cherries" by Benjamin Wilson

You want to know
who I really am,
without the mask?

I thought you'd
never ask.

my mouth is tart
as these cherries.

I've got pits
hard enough to crack
your teeth.

See how I color
your fingertips
and lips?

Even sweetness
can leave a stain.

- Irene Latham

Don't let those Boy Scout uniforms
fool you...
Readers, I know exactly where this poem comes from! The other day a friend said how I seemed so sweet, but I have a wee mean streak. I confessed to her that once upon a time, my brothers might have called me "Mean Irene." In my defense, I was always provoked! Those brothers taught me to be scrappy, to be strong, to stand up for myself. Looking back, I am not entirely sure how I survived them. But I did! And now I'm so grateful for all they've given me.


  1. Oooh, unexpected! Well done!

  2. "pits hard enough to crack your teeth" - go, Irene! Love your own picture and those rascally brothers!

  3. I am laughing so hard over here, Irene! This poem is a gem. I am curious about whether there will be a slice of Irene in each one? (Who is that man from yesterday?) xx

  4. Now that you mention it, she seems to be holding cherry pits in her mouth, ready to zing the onlooker with one right between the eyes!

  5. Love the backstory on this one and the lessons those ornery brothers taught you. (Also love the pic w/ Mom in that yellow den mother shirt. I had one of those in my closet too!)


Your thoughts?