after Harold Gilman
She perches on the edge of the bed clasping her right knee
smiling, leaning forward, but he’s thinking about Walter Sickert,
new ways with colour to make the bed sheets dance, stroking them
with stripes: blue, mauve, green and pink. That strong glow
from the red curtains behind her and the dark plums of the sofa
warm everything up, even her flesh, saggy and past its best;
see, yellow highlights make it sing, and light settles on her
rounded shoulders like a mantle. A sponge floats
in a red-rimmed bowl of water; dark finger-marks dent it
like skull sockets, but this is a lively scene with a cheery lady.
Put your brush down, deary; time yet for a bit of fun.
Sue Norton has had poems published in various magazines. She lives in York.