June 5, 2020

Barbara Lydecker Crane

YOU WILL REMEMBER ME

in the imagined voice of Frida Kahlo, painter of “The Broken Column,” Mexico, 1944

Does it make you gasp to see this fissure
in my naked torso, revealing pieces
of my shattered spine? No surgeon’s scissor
ever since that accident decreases
constant pain, as if I have been nailed
like this. My trunk is buckled up in straps—
support that shortens every breath inhaled.
Polio and accident have trapped
me in a body crisscrossed by ravines.
Across my stoic face a dozen tears
are scattered pearls. I’ve made quite a scene;
in art and life, I’ve done that all these years.
Between these straps my breasts bulge out like eyes.
Don’t I look a strange and sexual prize?

from Rattle #67, Spring 2020

__________

Barbara Lydecker Crane: “It’s been fascinating to research many artists’ lives and their paintings, and then write sonnets in each artist’s imagined voice. I’ve learned much more about the artists than I ever did as an art major in college, and it’s all the more interesting as I used to be a professional artist myself. In that work and now in poetry, I have the luxury of not having to earn my living; if I did I would surely starve!”

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