Celebrating Water Lilies

Virginia Chase Sutton


Monet loved them so much, obsessed, he
painted them the last twenty years of his life.
How they skimmed the ponds he devised. Swaying
in wetness, slick and smooth. Loveliness.
What makes a man so consumed? He studied

light flickering across lilies in sunlight, the glow
like the moon on water. Hues deepened---
lavender, blue, plum---a trembling darkness
much as my own lily changes, lost in twilight

with you. And I am here you say, your voice
tinged with color, wanting to adore my trembling
center. That makes my nether grow wilder and
wilder, wetly fragrant. I am so pleased with beauty.

Sometimes I admire myself with a hand-mirror
where my lady bits float, just like lilies in Monet’s
many ponds, his hand grasping his brush, painting
observations, reflections, ever-present on canvases

growing larger. Let me admire your flower you say,
gliding close in our solitude. Monet’s adoration
for water-lilies was well-noted. Observed from
above, on a Japanese-style bridge, they shimmied

with a little current. They were glorious illusion. How
fortunate am I to have my own bright flower, responsive
to your thirst, my own touch, light and scent
flooding the room with arousal, all perfection

as the paintings he stacked against walls of his studio,
ready to display when need arose, lilies never
perishing, painted during long days of imagination
mixed with observation, studied as I am by you.


Virginia Chase Sutton's new chapbook is forthcoming this fall from Finishing Line Press. Her third book Of a Transient Nature was published last year by Knut House Press. Winner of the Morse Prize, her second book is titled What Brings You to Del Amo. Her first book was Embellishments (Chatoyant). Her poems have won the Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry at Bread Loaf and the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Amethyst Arsenic, and the Comstock Review, along with many other magazines, journals, and anthologies. Six times nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she holds an MFA in poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Sutton lives in Tempe, Arizona with her husband.

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