Velvet Painting

by Linda Imbler

Inside an odds-and-ends store
On the edge of town
Resides a most unusual creation.
Upstairs in the corner,
Almost hidden from view,
As if meant for my eyes alone.
Painted on black velvet—
A life-size skeleton seated on the chair,
Right ankle resting on left thigh,
A jaunty physical presence
Perfectly posed for camera or painter’s eye
As if in need of a top hat and tails.
Face slightly angled,
All smile,
As if with a secret to share,
Toothsome, wide grin
Normally hidden behind soft lips
And a heart shaped chin.

There is no artist name
On this macabre objet d’ art,
Its creation is
Perhaps the artist’s deliberate act at consternation,
Perhaps s/he was not humored
By an overabundance of Elvis and landscapes.

Its present home
Seems well-suited,
Almost as if being surrounded
By commonplace objects
Has made it less glaring and repellent.
Here in this niche,
A tucked-in canvas.
Maybe the next patron
Will be more voyeuristic
And require its presence closer to home.

Painter statement or joke,
Who can tell?

About the Author

Linda Imbler is the author of the published poetry collection “Big Questions, Little Sleep.” Her work has appeared in numerous journals. Linda’s creative process and a current, complete listing of sites which have or will publish her work can be found at This writer, yoga practitioner, and classical guitar player lives in Wichita, Kansas.


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