Helena Minton: The Reader, 1888 After a Painting by Berthe Morisot

To go into oneself and close the door of the cage.

To make oneself into a small bird
in a cage not singing but silent.

To be lost in thought, in the heat of the conservatory
ordinary sun beating on the glass,
to feel the brushstrokes action.

By staying quiet one appears obedient.

To be at the center of unruly brushstrokes,
one feather among
wild frenzied feathers scratchy on the canvas,

caught in a maelstrom
orange, red, green cacophony.

Oil that at first resembles
pastel or colored pencil,
brushstrokes like feathers in a whirlwind.
To turn the pages, one after the other,
to feel the ruffled pages lift their wings.
To be quiet when the bird inside is not.

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