Fate ordained one warm spring day,
into the secluded gallery I would enter.
My appetite for peace gave way
as I sought tranquility’s alter.
Mindlessly I prowled each room
sweeping from one image to the next.
My mind unable to cut through my gloom
as I glance the work, ignoring its parallel text.
I shuffled along, no thoughts to recall,
my random search growing endlessly hopeless
until in the last hall at the top of the wall
hangs an impressionist work called “The Necklace.”
In a chair sits a woman, or perhaps a lady
of 30 years, maybe older, maybe less.
Projecting an alluring nature, a past that may be shady,
reclining in her disheveled dress.
Her gaze is fixed upon her left hand
or more precisely the object in her palm.
A colored shape hung on beaded band
transfixes her aspect with peculiar calm.
My mind grapples with contradictions
as I propose riddles about this mystery.
What is she thinking? What’s fact or fiction?
What clues are found in the necklace’s history?
Does it reflect past impassioned innocence?
Absconded sweetness called to mind?
Or acquiescence to a suitor’s arrogance,
a lustful gesture that struck her blind?
The conundrum I find most titillating
as I pensively gaze at the painting
Desirable is she, my heart accelerating.
Baffled, I find my questions still remaining.
Why does this vision’s pensive gaze
in me conjure such strong emotions?
Why should my mind be in this haze
inspiring me to span this surreal ocean?
No blinding revelation was manifest
and no stroke of genius shown clear.
But as I left that place, weary soul at rest,
this lady of mystery in my heart I held near.