I envisaged her with gardenias in her hair
like those over there on the coffee table,
big splashes of white, and that scent.
‘I think of Billie Holliday,’
said the friend who gave them to me.
‘She always wore one in her hair.’
True, but I thought of Frida,
of whom it is not, apparently, true.
I search her self-portraits. She wore
yellow flowers – daisies
and perhaps chrysanthemums –
and red roses. Seldom white;
and when, I couldn’t tell what kind.
So I look instead at her face
knowing of course the tales,
her life of pain and turmoil
and passion, and most of all love.
I gaze at her expression,
and the set of her head.
Such dignity! She never smiles.
Submitted 7 March 2014 for Poets United's Midweek Motif: Honouring women and women's achievements. (I guess this honours her obliquely, not spelling it right out.)
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