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Portrait of Madame Cezanne

poetry by Doug Tanoury

Portrait of Madame Cezanne

Together we study a portrait
She giggles and I snort
At the stiff posture in a painting
Of Madame Cezanne

Her jaw set crossly
Framing lips unsmiling
Her eyes reduced to narrow slits
That serve to hold in all the rage

But she sits for him as he paints
Cursing him as he works and
Complaining of having no money
To buy food and clothes

Her anger remains sitting long
After she has left and he continues
To paint a portrait of poor relations
A still life of unripe fruit

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