Toledo Museum Home

Ekphrastic Poetry Contest 2013

Kerry Trautman

3rd Place

Great Gallery Babies

Red inside, as if the whale, along with Jonah,
swallowed seventeen easels
to keep them warm, frozen in place, immobile,
brave inspiration for shame, shrine to suffering,
but with too much death and pain to really taste them.

Death, yet so many fatbaby angels,
unable to understand the red,
just babies feeling red hair, blonde hair,
moiré silk, feeling the pink of petals,
each other’s blush skin, each other’s wings,
feeling chiffon, a velvet hat,
cool brass of armor, shiny,
babies concentrating on fingertips.

In a room pregged with
a pain that could swallow me whole,
I am a fatbaby angel, glancing at
flat deaths and battles of faith,
skipping eyes here and there
able only to want to stroke
red silk, feathers.