Three Senryu and a Short Story Traci Kenworth

Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Poetry Challenge using the words Circled and Squared, synonyms only.

Image by Albina Mukhtarova from Pixabay

The sketch encompassed
her day of who he was, this
balance boy and man

he seemed all
shadows and light both
brash and bold

girded
by life ink
and bone

The Rival

Traci Kenworth

All day she sat, sketching him first then adding ink. He leapt off the page, part boy, part man, all shadows and light. Who was this mystery man? Had she met him somewhere before? Glimpsed him in a dream? She tapped her finger slightly one the edge of the canvas. So brash, so bold. His image balanced perfectly there.

A knock came at her door.

“Judy?”

“Yes, Mother?”

“Beau is here to see you.”

She straightened her dress and hair. Oh, no. She nearly upset her chair when she launched to her feet, determined he not find her like this. What would he think?

He strolled into the room, hat in hand. Her mother behind.

“Judy, darling,” he said, reaching for her hands and kissing the palms. He eyed her painting. “Is this then my rival?”

Her mother tittered.

“You have no rival, Beau. He’s merely a dream.”

He studied her work. “Well, I hope he won’t steal you away to often. I don’t intend to share.”

She smiled at him.

“I merely stopped by to tell you our reservations are set for this Friday. We’ll share a booth at the opera with my parents and yours.”

Her mother beamed.

Judy squeezed his hand. “I’ll look forward to it.”

Beau and his mother left her to her thoughts. She turned back to the painting to find it empty. What? She stepped over her chair. Where had the image gone?

Try as she might, she never got the subject back. It was almost as if the mystery man didn’t want to compete either.

Motherhood descended on her not long after she and Beau married. She never took up her art again. Perhaps he had represented what she knew she would lose with her vows.

Then again, look at those towheads out the window. What a gain.

The End.

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