Retrospective By Jacqueline M. Michaud   



We pause before the Singer Sargent:

a capitalist’s children in pretty clothes.

Your hand warms mine as we linger

before each glorious pose. 


Gliding from portrait to portrait,

the marble halls echo our steps

as we praise the genius, mastery

of oils that, decades later, marketing

would strip away to decorate TV trays,

playing card decks. 


As the hour wears on, our steps slow,

and we smile as the eyes follow us

strolling by, chatting, holding hands. 

Are we the work they now consider,

our lives in motion what they

from their high static walls

envy as we pass? 


Do Mr. and Mrs. Wertheimer, say,

long to step from their gilded

frame, head to the museum’s café

where they may share an espresso

and talk about how happy, lucky

they are to be hanging out like this,

side-by-side, for eternity?




Mother Love By Jacqueline M. Michaud


That was sorta pretty, honey,

what you sent Pop and me to read,

but where it goes, “If I were a number,

would they call me pi?”

I’m afraid you lost me there. 

Anyways, what you should be asking is

“How can I sell this stuff?”

There’s a market for everything, see,

and maybe, just maybe

you could cut a deal with Disney. 

Them boys know how to turn little ideas

into something really big. 


So look, I’ve just had a brainstorm here –

now stay with me! – why don’t you

call Vern?  He knew Buddy Ebsen once,

might have connections still

in Hollywood. 

Though he’s with Blackwater now,

did I already tell you? 

Big promotion or something.  

I have to laugh remembering how

you two always were so different –

no pie in the sky for Vern,

no siree!  You could do worse

than to follow his lead. 


Now, don’t get me wrong, honey,

I always believed you showed these

little glints of promise too,

so follow your dreams.  No telling

where they’ll lead us. 

And if Vern hooks you up

with his old Tinsel town chums,

you make sure they pay, see. 

Them sharks, they know all the angles! 








© 2005-2009 Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas

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Jacqueline M. Michaud