November Ekphrastic Challenge: Day 17

The paintings for day’s ekphrastic challenge are Macedonian balcony by Terry Chipp and Domoren en dromers by Marcel Herms.

TC17 Macedonian Balcony


it’s not safe out there, the parents say, too high, the ironwork too open, the façade is crumbling. Don’t go out, they say to the twins, who peer with thin white faces out through the window that is never cleaned, across the street where the reproachful windows glitter, the ones that saw. Don’t go out, like your brother did, climbed the fancy ironwork and fell. Don’t go out. But they leave the window open, as if to tempt them, the little girls who are left, the ones they would have offered in his place
dreaming is drifting
on the dark waves
of sleep

MH17 Domoren en dromers, mixed media on canvas, 100 x 70 cm, 2020 v

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 “November Ekphrastic Challenge: Day 17”

    1. It’s so easy to have accidents like that. I almost had a nervous breakdown once when the youngest was about seven months old and had to be kept in a playpen because she was getting up and walking round the furniture. They were all playing some complicated game in the big room upstairs and something made me go out of the kitchen to look up the stairwell. The baby was walking downstairs hanging onto the banisters, and putting her head through…I screamed. They’d taken her out of the pen and forgotten about her.

      1. I just collapsed once I’d grabbed her. Whatever it was made me come out of the kitchen and into the hallway saved her life, I’m sure. It was a drop of ten feet onto concrete tiles. The others were so busy yelling at one another they didn’t even notice she’d wandered out of the room.

      2. It was like a scene in a film, I walked through the kitchen, then the dining room and out into the hallway and looked up. The kids were in a room out of sight fighting about whatever the game was and there was a silence in the stairwell, with this little blonde tiny tot inching her way down the stairs, hanging like a monkey to the handrail. I’ll never forget it. Keeping my voice calm to tell her to stop, not to move and then trying to shout to the eldest to come and grab her. I didn’t think I’d be able to get to the top of the stairs in time. It was seconds away from her falling though the bars.

  1. It does look ominous. Even with the required window guards, children still fall from apartment windows here every year. The trading of the daughters for the son still also sadly rings true. (K)

    1. Accidents like that are so easy though. It terrifies me the risks people take with their kids. It’s bad enough when the kids put themselves in danger.
      There are still so many families that have a pecking order for their affections.

      1. I would not live on the 20th floor of a building if I had young children. Actually I would not live on the 20th floor of a building at all. I need to be anchored.

      2. Once they reach the age of reason, anything’s possible. Our youngest broke her arm twice before the age of five. Eldest visited the emergency units of every clinic in Paris before age seven, as well as some of the big hospitals. They always find a way.

      3. It’s never a big thrill to be phoned up by the school and told your daughter is at this moment being shipped off by the fire fighters to the nearest emergency service.
        Two each, not bad. Enough to leave you a nervous wreck.

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