Lady with Parrot
after an original collage by the author, 2010
The artist sketched the model in many poses,
imagined himself as her lover, the parrot a gift
from his heart. At night he dreamed that his hand
traced the line of her hip, soft curve of her breast,
his fingers brushing away a moist tendril or two
from her translucent cheek.
As she came less often to pose for him,
he sketched her from memory, his studio littered
with discarded drawings. When she reappeared,
her grace so inspired him, he finished the portrait
in one day, but look—the bird she is holding is not
the parrot. It had escaped its cage and flown away.
Nancy Scott is the author of Down to the Quick (2007) and One Stands Guard, One Sleeps (2009) published by Plain View Press; and A Siege of Raptors (2010) by Finishing Line Press. She is managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets, the journal of the U.S.1 Poets' Cooperative in New Jersey. Her work has appeared in Journal of New Jersey Poets, Exit 13, Poet Lore, Slant, Mudfish, and many other literary journals. www.nancyscott.net