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On Encountering Waterhouse’s Soul of the Rose

By Tami Karabin

Each time I see her hair of fire

I stop, compelled to admire

my friend’s neo-classical print

broadly framed with golden glint.

The subject, bathed in blue

has captivated me and you.

Her fair skin awash in pink

as her eyelids slowly sink,

she inhales the scent of a rose

while secreting a moment’s pose.

She breathes in the aroma of before,

stealing back time she will always adore.

Its beauty is so bittersweet

and she herself a goddess to entreat.

While she longs for the past

and hopes the aroma will last

she is strength to behold

whatever will unfold.

My captivation grows.

“The Soul of the Rose,”

my friend explains,

“I think it captures her pain,

her strength and her vitality.”

“But the redhead has enraptured me,”

I reply and pull my eyes free.

“Beauty is everywhere, if you’ll just slow down.

I found this print at a thrift shop downtown.”

Tami Karabin is a tutor in the Writing Center. She enjoys reading, writing, and other creative pursuits.

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