Old Painting in the Parlor

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Six intense, burning eyes stare me down,
collectively the eyes are their own entity,
but separately they are much, much more.

They all contain the same lackluster shine,
A dull groaning passing as a reflection.
Like cold, stationary, sad marbles
that by coincidence happened to be lodged
in fleshy skulls.

The mother hovers menacingly
over her brood of two children
no older than 10.
No love,
nor affection present
in her single hairline smile
where her lips are pursed
(practically fused
together.)
No approval in her ice blue
arctic, frigid eyes.
Just fierce disappointment
(tattooed dissatisfaction.)

The eldest son dressed in
his Sundays best.
The bow-tie tied a smidgen too tight.
His cheeks flushed
and his hair combed neatly
PERFECTLY
to the right.
His amber eyes lacking the implied warmth
and his jet black hair, tamed
into utter submission.
He might as well have been a prop
A doll used for the sake of
painting a proper portrait.

Then there is the little girl,
a white bow tied to her hair
just grazing her golden tresses.
She looks the most uncomfortable.
A solid, unmistakable frown
pasted firmly on her snow white
complexion, and the same arctic blue
eyes as her mother,
only,
hers are filled to the brim with fear.
How many times have I wondered;
What must have scared her so...?
They say a picture holds within it one thousand words
but the answer I will never know,
but the answer I will never know.





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