Jeunes Filles en Noir (Renoir)


Two women, both in black, the widow’s veil
is flung across one shoulder, cast aside.
A child’s face where sorrow can’t prevail,
those sloe-dark eyes more suited to a bride.

The funeral past, she sheds no mourning tear
as she surveys the seething cafe crowd.
What does her confidante say in her ear?
What secret that she dare not say aloud?

A glorious auburn head displays behind;
a sunset orange sweats the juice of life;
but all her beauty is concealed, consigned
to nun-like garments of the mourning wife.

What future can this widow-child foresee?
Could manacles of marriage set her free?

George Wilson

With the kind permisson of the author

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