Mona Lisa

Linda Brown

From her place above the mantle
she watches her son grow tall,
her daughter develop breasts.
A handsome husband weeps
openly and her eyes follow him
around the room. Days turn
into years while she
listens to sunset conversations
and Chopin served with tea.
Behind her smile, a list
of trips she meant to take
and books she left unread,
of lips she wished she’d kissed
and words she didn’t say.
She views the world as
one half pleasure, one
half pain, and feels as flat
as an artist’s canvas.
On days when the windows
are open, regret
blows through her,
like a season.

Linda Brown has been a songwriter in Nashville and a House Manager for the Barter Theatre, the State Theatre of Virginia. Her poetry has appeared in Wind, Appalachian Heritage, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Parting Gifts, Creative Woman, Insurgent Metaphor, Parnassus and several anthologies.