Tessa, That Last Summer Together


Francesc Miralles i Galaup, Boating (1890)

Louisa was telling us how boorish
men were, the ones she had met and
that too much hocus pocus, perhaps,
had taught her that. Enough to make
me swear off men. She sat quite upright
yet drooping with nonchalance–
her one sleeve had slipped off one
shoulder. I thought she looked
becoming in that oxblood skirt.

But not Bethany. She’s waiting for
her sweetheart soldier to come home.
She’d kept all his letters bound up
in a ribbon. End of war would mean
the beginning. She gave a dreamy look
holding the red parasol. Above us,
the placid sky. Out in the water,
the Baptist girls in rowboats spied
as usual conjuring wild rumors.

One lone wolf does not a tribe make,
I muttered. Besides you’ve made such
an impression on Quentin. Did he not
make some sort of love declaration
at the funeral? But Louisa pretended
it was nothing. And so, she’s difficult
and a mystery. No one of us had yet
been touched by tragedy; none of us
had gone on to our disparate lives.


Prompt: I realise that this is something I’ve not done as much before, this ekphrastic spell I’m under. No matter. I mean, how the hell am I supposed to find material to write about for a whole month, right? So don’t laugh. I have to keep making stuff up. It’s Day 5 of the July writing challenge. Today’s artist is Catalonian, born in Barcelona and lived there for the most part except for his formative years in Paris. In fact this painting is said be to his tribute to Manet’s scandalous Luncheon on the Grass.


4 thoughts on “Tessa, That Last Summer Together

  1. Good work, lady. It is difficult to come up with things to write for a whole month. Half the time I just freewrite and see what comes out. Mostly crap, but there it is. I like your submission for today, the idea of these women pondering their futures, keeping secrets, twirling parasols under the watchful eyes of other women. Strange worlds, worlds now gone. 🙂


    1. It feels dicey alright. New ritual for me is to look for an artwork in the morning and then to get up to writing about it at night. It gives me a kind of structure I suppose. And hell, we writers need structure don’t we? I was just reading Peter Griffin’s email about the need for commitment and how writing needs it. But I don’t think I need to pay for it. Thanks for signing me up for the challenge, Elena. 🙂 It is horribly difficult. 🙂


    1. I figured the paintings will give me enough material to keep going for a month. It’s horribly hard to keep at it so yea it’s a real challenge. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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