Forgot to send in my Ekphrastic poems this time. This is the first one of three. The painting is by Barbara Danin

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She made my blood run cold, the girl in the stream,

all illusions washed away, all dreams.

She must have had them once, but no one ever asked.


The one who put the flowers in her hair, the same

who laid her on the riverbed, kissed her

wide eyes and open lips as the water flowed


cool and lifeless over her face. This ending,

his choosing not hers. No one ever asked her mind.

The madness too was his, hers the empty sky.


She clutched the jonquils in pale hands

and let the bottomless pit, the great black laughing O

of despair’s mocking mouth, suck her dry.


It’s a strange fact, but the emptier the heart,

the heavier it weighs. Like a dark cloud full of rain,

when once it sinks, it will never rise again.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

9 thoughts on “Ophelia”

    1. I thought so. I’m not sure what the elephant’s tusk in the foreground signifies. I don’t always like the prompt image, and I sometimes forget to send my poems in even when I write a response.

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