Musings #76 -The Model and Her Artist (Mainstreet Rag)


after “Woman Combing Her Hair,”

charcoal by Edgar Degas

Naked but for bold red slippers –

she sits combing her long dark hair.

She could be one of the ballerinas

he painted.

Limbs akimbo –

her right leg forms a figure four,

ankle resting on her left knee.

Her right hand holds the comb,

elbow elevated, her left grasps

a hank of hair.

Not as if posing for a portrait –

more as if aware

a lover watches her.

Attention is a form of love –

studying curve and line,

the way she moves.

He wants to show his efforts

in capturing the just so of her.

First strokes remain visible.

In smudged depth – her arm a pillow,

her shape a shadow on the bed,

and the echo of the up-down/back-and-forth

in the pas de deux of combing.