Beverly Finney talks about the painting from the Woman Made exhibit that inspired her poem at Art of Poetry. She is photographed at the March 18, 2017 event at Hickory Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.
VICTORIA LOUISE AT FIFTEEN
After “Victoria Louise” by Agnes Millen Richmond
Look at her here, take note if you please,
of the pink in her cheek, our Victoria Louise.
Sweet eyes, innocent, rest softly on you,
that honeyed pink pout, as fresh as dew
on the rose in the garden at the back gate,
the one that blooms both early and late.
I can see our Victoria is blossoming here,
and wonder if it will hold year after year.
If she could see what’s in store and know
how swift, dimly blurring, her days will go,
how her dreams will fade in the harried press
of time like the spun-sugar pink of her dress.
Would she look so pure, so undisturbed,
if she knew she’d be more a rock than a bird?
Not to say she’ll become either, or find
her bitters, her sweets, too much of one kind.
But with time, life becomes more complex:
matrimony, babies, housework, what’s next?
Up early to work, grab a quick bite of lunch.
Why do problems always come in a bunch?
I’m not inclined, though, to worry her now,
to steal her innocence, knot up her brow,
to lay out all that could well lie ahead,
worry her prematurely, taint her with dread.
Let’s give her now, our Victoria Louise,
in her favorite pink frock under the trees
on a lovely afternoon in mid-June,
on the cusp of womanhood all too soon.