(“Mademoiselle Boissiere Knitting” by Gustave Caillebotte)

Old woman, bent with needle.
Spinster, maiden, Mademoiselle,
Intent on plaiting fictions.

Each stroke demands restraint.
She is compliant—
Bound in proper bonnets, sturdy bows,
And stems an urge for wild unraveling.
Yet blushing cheeks,
the nacreous rainbows in her purls,
Their molten platinum shimmer,
Betray a piqued suppression.

Too late for one revolution,
Too early for another,
She can’t escape the irony:
That immortality’s lovely truth
is framed by false impressions.

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