Friday, November 4, 2011


The women sat beside me, casually intimate, clearly 
together, each a glass of wine and sharing a 

charcuterie plate; the insouciance of meat, the 
pale pate, shaved speck a marbled red, the dark 

lamb sausage lusty and earthen, yellow mustard, 
rustic bread. I couldn’t help but notice what was 

unsaid in the white margins and unpainted spaces
of their presence. I began to sketch her secretly, 

ink scratches really, the shocking blonde, the poised 
way she slipped into her barstool, her fashionable shawl 

tracing the shape of her body as the arm of a friend 
draped over her shoulder, an unconscious comfort. 

Each part of her clothing held a pattern, net tights
flowing from Burberry-plaid skirt, rope cable sweater,

and the shawl, pale blue knit, loose tassels so that
in motion she was only motion, your eyes couldn’t

rest in a single place for long, stealth clothing. 
Farmers once sealed the wood of barns from

rusted cans of linseed oil, sometimes blended with the 
spilled blood of livestock. The resulting tint dried a

ruddy brown-red, a fabric that became rural decor,
barns now signposts between farmland neighbors.

We reveal ourselves through social camouflage,
the weave of our histories etched in sacred origami. 

--c. 2011 Martin A. Bartels (working draft)

1 comment:

  1. Powerful imagery of the tassels, the cured meats, the blood stained barns- mezmerized with a cover, woven into the daily glace of life.
    Great work