April sunshine has given me the courage to take on the challenge of writing Ekphrastic poems. I have never attempted to translate the emotion from paintings, drawings, sculptures, or other visual works of art into words. The challenge will require me to dig deep to tap into the passions such works of art create inside a person. Most of what I write will be speculative. There will be times when I will place myself into the mind of the artist. Still other times, I will express the emotions I experience gazing at the work of art. If I get creative, I might even tell the story from an element within the work of art. This Ekphrastic poem is based on a World War II poster Rosie the Riveter that has become a part of American culture.
Rosie the Riveter
My name was Naomi,
And I riveted during the war.
The poster made me look phony.
Muscular arms are hard to ignore,
When you are a working girl.
I went to work in the factory.
It might be fun to give it a whirl,
But I found it to be unsatisfactory,
They never paid us the same as the men.
We worked long hours to increase productivity,
Some days I felt like a broody, caged hen.
Sweat dripping into my eyes until I couldn’t see.
An essential worker on the line,
Enduring the noise and the heat for little pay.
A poster girl and not by my design,
It’s better than waiting tables any day.
They say riveting is my patriotic duty I won’t regret.
But occasionally my mind decides to roam.
We can do it,
Until the boys come home,
Then they get the jobs
And Rosie will become unnecessary,
To the big wigs and the snobs,
And the American military.
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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