She wears the seamless face
of a pre-Raphaelite angel,

her lips shape an unsung song
in a key you’ve never heard,

while her pearl-gray shoes
pose on a cumulous cloud.

Above her, a sacred arch —
a jump rope woven of rainbow.

She jumps and the rainbow
turns. Jumps and it …

This is an Impressionist painting
created in invisible oils.

Perhaps you would have hung it
over your four-poster bed,

or, better yet, by the back door,
just above where you feed

your consoling dog.


Penelope Scambly Schott’s recent books are WAVING FLY SWATTERS AT ANGELS and gOD: A RESPECTFULLY DIVERGENT TESTAMENT. She is a past recipient of the Oregon Book Award for Poetry.