The prime of Miss Gwen Robie
was in her thirty-third year.
As she grew in works and faith–
one foot firmly on each path to heaven–
she became younger in that portrait.
It was if the oils in the colours were
adding collagen to the faint laugh lines
that revealed an appealing overbite,
even as the lines on her face deepened,
like twilight in the forest.
And it was in her ninety-ninth year
that in that painting,
Gwendolyn Robie saw the baby she’d been once–
before the world had made its mark on her,
even as she looked into the mirror and saw the woman who had made
her mark on the world.