Janice Windle


(For Dónall) Portrait of a Poet, Sleeping


Turning her head she finds his sleeping face
a few inches from hers. A moment to hold
in her mind’s gallery. Immobile, peaceful,
open to her calm inspection,
smooth cheekbones gold-pink,
eyes sunk, looking inward, heavy eyelids
falling across them like blinds from the broad forehead.
Nose somehow more delicate
than when he is awake. Lips firmly closed
over the voluble mouth. John Lennon, she thinks,
as she stores his mouth away. She keeps still,
despite her filling bladder and her stiffening back.
His hand still rests on her stomach, his foot on hers.
If she moves, the blinds will flick up,
the quiet breath will quicken,
his face will be remoulded by the lively muscles.
Where is he now?
Inside this calm mask, perhaps he’s running
in the pathways of neurons that link this moment
with the past. And who is she to call him back?

Submitted: Sunday, September 20, 2009
Edited: Monday, November 02, 2009

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Comments about this poem ((For Dónall) Portrait of a Poet, Sleeping by Janice Windle )

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  • Ruth Walters (11/1/2009 4:02:00 AM)

    you think as a painter, an artist and I've secretly peeped at your paintings of which I'm in awe...... Your description of early morning waking next to your lover is just as I know my own lover...we are both in love and mine as yours rests his foot against me, my back often aching, my own bladder filling but me not moving to watch his face, his shut curtains........
    wonderful poetry Jan, just wonderful

    Ruthie (Report) Reply

  • Susan Jarvis (10/29/2009 3:07:00 PM)

    You have captured this special moment with an almost pictorial image, then enhanced the picture with all the intimate eloquence of an accomplished artist - a perfect image. S :) (Report) Reply

  • Onelia Avelar (9/23/2009 9:08:00 AM)

    'Inside this calm mask, perhaps he’s running
    in the pathways of neurons that link this moment
    with the past. And who is she to call him back' - I like these closing lines so much! (Report) Reply

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