© Chelsea Bednar, used by permission for this posting only

Broken

Shards of a gender
Picture-imperfect
Fragments of the feminine
Lacking evident wisdom
Made up for a mag

The desperate sound of
duller-colored cardinals
all together, singing a battered blues
Altogether shattered

Smatterings of health care
elusive as dust bunnies,
scattered like crumbs under
the White Man’s table

We long for freedom from
beauty measured in
facial symmetry, not in
the output of our brains

The Divine Sofia calls
The Painted Diva says
leave a message

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Artistic Interpretations with Margaret, at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, wanted an ekphrastic piece based on the artwork of the insanely talented Chelsea Bednar, who granted us permission to use her work for this prompt. The challenge was to speak of how the piece made you feel, rather than inhabiting the subject.

This piece spoke to me of women’s declining civil rights today: Denied access to safe, doctor-performed abortion; often refused birth control because “the pharmacy owner doesn’t believe in it.” We are half the species, under attack, including the late, lamented ERA. Look at the picture: The Pale Stale Males took a hammer to this mirror image. Keep your lamps trimmed and burning, sisters. The time is coming when… Peace, Amy