attired in haute couture, dark eyes wistful
beneath a lace parasol, a demure young wife
weary of the pose.
The burgeoning century features drawings
of "the new independent woman," but
their famous illustrator does not sketch Emma.
She typifies "the cult of true womanhood."
Still, Emma longs to stand with informed women
rather than behind her boorish spouse.
His library denied, she enjoys china-painting
and collectibles, doting on delicate snow globes
she imagines house couples living as equals.
Elsewhere in smoky parlors men tipple and rail
against a woman's right to vote.
Under night's cover Emma studies Black's Law
until an angry cue stick sweeps, smashing rows
of snow globes like billiard balls.
An aggrieved Emma paces in the moonlight.
Morning waits to reveal her first silver curl.
Soon she will leave in a simple white dress
to join the women's cause, carrying a sign
instead of a parasol.
Ellen currently teaches literature at a public high school in New Jersey. In her younger years, she performed folk songs in smoky clubs and coffeehouses. Her love of folk music has remained strong, and its storytelling character continues to influence her poetic style. Her most recent publication appears in The Raven Review, Volume 1, Issue IV, (2020). Ellen's poems have also appeared in The Paterson Literary Review, Issue 48, (2020), The Voices Project (January, 2020), Red Flag Poetry in its Poetry Express venue (2017) and Madness Muse Magazine, its final issue.