Eternal People by Shirley Rickett

Often the smaller paintings hold them
as they stand in coarse muslin
and old shoes near a bowl of fruit.

They bear the look of those accustomed
to sun, to the purpose of the day,
and the eyes hold you

in a spell of constancy, a fullness ripe
as pears in the bowl, the dim lit room.

If you look away they will go back
to what they were doing.

First appeared in Antietam Review.

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Shirley Rickett

Shirley Ann Wilson-Rickett was born in 1934 in Oneida, Tennessee and reared in Kansas City, Missouri. She has been a professional dancer, mother of five, an x-ray technician, and teacher. Rickett won First Prize in the 2011 McAllen Green Living contest, an exercise in ekphrasis, poems written for photos. Poems have appeared in New Letters, Nimrod, Antietam Review, The Kansas City Star, Smartish Pace, and numerous others. Rickett’s current projects include a collection of 30 poems, Repairs While You Wait, and a memoir/genealogy work of prose and poems. She and husband Charles retired to the Rio Grande Valley where Rickett writes, and occasionally works with the Pharr Literacy Project, in Pharr, Texas.

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