Unfinished Daughter, III

You sharpened your pencils
when I agreed to sit, produced

a careful record: broken woman
still young, but childless.

The collar a simple circle
leash-like, yoke-like

draws no attention from the face—
pupils like currants or seeds

shadows track time
under eyes, above lips

nostrils no longer perked
the stare distant, wistful—

you would say sadder but wiser
I would say—determined.
I would say betrayed.

Janice Wilson Stridick’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Arts & Letters, Keeping Time: 150 Years of Journal Writing, Milk Money, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Studio One, The View in Winter, and various anthologies. Her book and art reviews have appeared in NY Arts Magazine, Philadelphia Stories and Cape May Star And Wave. She has an MFA from Vermont College and lives in Merchantville, NJ.

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