This is January’s Visual Verse prompt image. The short piece I wrote wasn’t published, so I’ll post it here.


The portrait is arresting in its oddity. Who is she, the girl dressed in an indefinable fashion with her arms folded across her chest, not tightly, they’re slipping, unlocking as she wavers on the edge of sleep? Who is she, with her sad, sleepy, languid, drugged-looking eyes, not level, one lid heavier then the other, puffy? Has she been in a fight or just beaten, unresisting? And why has the artist, as an afterthought, stuck a great big spliff on her lower lip? Doesn’t he think she’s had enough, taken enough, seen enough? Not even the strength to inhale.

I wonder who she is, but she has no name, not one name. It changes depending on the country. The eyes, before they close, blink, abused and forgotten. Just sleep, she murmurs. I wonder who she is inside, if she remembers at all.

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.

17 thoughts on “Unkown”

  1. She makes me think of a sketch by Velasquez that he would rather have painted but found no patron for. She looks real–unlike the “enfantes” he had to paint to have a living.

  2. Just like a forgotten photo caught in a drawer corner of gifted opp-shop furniture, the nameless person lived. The artist captures the futility the model experienced to change her situation. Like your prose – it is beautiful for its pathos.

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