He knows no shackles
or shackles' welt,
no gash in a child's bosom, her mother
torn away.
He hasn't seen
this history's
bone-exposed bone.

But an artist can imagine,
sketch and build.
He thinks: each baby's first breath
is a breath.
Let mother be the look
he's looking for.

Where to start—

where did he start
and when did he know to break her
into parts,
when did he decide

stages of her reconstruction.

Germ of a colossal notion
the Sphinx, Rhodes.
A gist, handful, cake of ore,
commission secure,
do it big.
Mother on a stool beside the easel
turns three-quarters around.
Almond eyes, lids, chin—he sketches
top to bottom,
head to broken-shackle feet.

Back to A Woman in Pieces Crossed a Sea