Donna Snyder

from a painting by Pavel de Nikolaev

Brown-eyed angel.
Smudged wings, lavender gray,
drape from sloped shoulders.
Course-spun tunic trimmed with lyres.
A field of lilac. A determined mouth,
pursed. Red with readiness. Domed
eyes the size of elbows. A gabled brow.
Twice as large as her round head,
a flat earth, trees and houses for a crown.
Upstretched arms hold the earth steady.
Legs splayed, bare feet point
toward the ground below her.
A city at her knees, each window
illuminated in gold.

Both unearthly and of this earth,
she has a secret. She carries the world
on her head. She is the X that marks the spot.

Previously published in The Tongue Has Its Secrets (NeoPoiesis Press, Vancouver Island 2016)

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