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serene, a little haughty, as if posing for this portrait
were someone else’s idea. With a face like any
well-appointed heir, sure of his estate—
a sinecure in politics or law, a favor his daddy
can call in whenever—the young man holds
a portrait of a saint as if to suggest his family’s
power rests with God himself, a bold
claim, which the saint’s face seems to deny,
his eyes darting beyond the gilded frame.
The princeling would be stunned to learn of his clan’s demise.
Three hundred years, but its end came.
Remember that when looking into the eyes
of the mighty. They believe they have it all,
but any high thing is poised to fall.
—from Poets Respond
January 31, 2021
Devon Balwit: “A beautiful painting of a lovely young man. The fact that we’ve no idea who he is makes the painting even more poignant. Great enough to be painted, human enough to be forgotten.” (web)
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