Friday 24 March 2023


 There's a great debate

about whether or not 

she's writing a love letter

Vermeer's Lady Writing a Letter, with her Maid

Though there's no jug of wine on the table

no viol bow on the floor

no Cupid, eye trained, elbow strained

shooting arrows from the wall

Just the maid, centre stage, 

apparently on the look out

though not looking too put out

And, to the side,the capped lady of the house

tilting her quill- 

red seal, stick of wax 

and crumpled sheaves of paper

on the checkered tiled floor

And there's the maid's folded arms

drawing the eye towards, rather than away from,

her swollen belly

or is it a whale-boned stomacher

so popular at the time?

And there's the Book of Exodus on the panel behind 

Pharaoh's daughter finding Moses in the basket

saving him from certain doom

his real mother in situ

ready to step in as wet nurse

All in all a Dutch domestic interior

gravid with unease

light pouring from a Delft sky

over a canvas awash with  female collusion-

not giving away a damn thing...

Copyright 2023 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved's_time.html

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