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Lady Emma’s Choices
by Anne Marple
Lady Emma Cavendish, a duke’s daughter sated by grandeur,
married a gentleman farmer from a Scottish border county.
Summers, she paints water colors of wild flowers;
winters, she embraces a folk craft, hooking rag rugs.
Not for her, cavorting nymphs and satyrs in a sylvan tapestry world;
she prefers an arrogant rooster and his concubines.
Not for her, warriors on horses rearing on a mural;
she chooses a trespassing goose among wall-hugging bluebells.
Lady Emma’s fancy is not captured by colonnades and porticos
smothered windows swathed in velvet or damask.
She is caught by the naked square of a four-paned cottage window
lighted by a flash of red geranium in a terra cotta pot.
She has forsaken the mythic marble nudes caged in galleries,
relishing instead the curve of a syrup pitcher’s handle
or the wedded arcs of a lemon resting on a kitchen dresser shelf,
the breathing sculpture of a hearth-warmed cat.