She sits alone
knitting for Sophie’s baby,
expected in the spring.
She doesn’t think of Sophie baring
herself for a man, as she did once,
when roses dizzied her with summer,
how easy her petticoats lifted, how
afterwards they smelled of blood
and sweat, how she stumbled,
pushed the bolt to lock the door,
how those smells return
when she sees him in the square,
squiring his wife on errands
and feels her heart loose
in its stays.

Sarah Russell
Based on “Mademoiselle Boissière Knitting”
by Gustave Caillebotte
First published in Ekphrastic Review