Poem in the Ekphrastic Review

I have a poem up in the latest Ekphrastic challenge. The painting was this Berthe Morisot. Thanks to Alarie Tennille for choosing Weeds.


You can read all of the selected poems here.

This is the second poem I wrote to the prompt.


The name for despair is widow


More is lost than a lover, a father,

a way through the teaming city

built for men,


I lose a shield against misery,

a future for a girl child,

a cushion against cold pavement stone.


River flows golden in the evening sun,

pours over grey slate, colour of pigeons

in the soft light,


and I wish for wings to follow you,

watch the shoulder blades of the child

for their fledging.


Perhaps there will be more,

something of a life to be lived in this golden air,

not simply the dull dragging of the gutter.


The city of men laughs,

bright even beneath the clouds,

full of your absence.

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.

16 thoughts on “Poem in the Ekphrastic Review”

  1. Congratulations! I like both of yours, one a variation on the other. The world goes on. . .
    Mine didn’t make the cut this time, so I’m pleased that yours did. 😀

  2. ‘a way through the teaming city/built for men’ – London was exactly that at that time, and widowhood would have meant penury for many; you have captured this very powerfully.

    1. Thank you. Women had so few options if they didn’t have inherited money. Factory work, domestic service or prostitution were about all there was. And with a child, only prostitution was an option. Heartbreaking.

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