This is a poem I wrote for Janet Reid's flash fiction contest,
for which the theme was:
"If I'd had pearls, I would have been clutching them."
Wedding Belle's Booze
Wedding guests are rich, old, and boozy. Marooned with the singles, so I can't be choosy.
A long open bar with a miniscule dinner. We're all drunk and hungry. We've almost become thinner. The best man's toast is more of a roast. "May your genitalia never fail ya." My neighbour, a charming elderly lady, finds one word obscure. It seems almost shady. "Dear, what's 'genitalia'?" she said, and I want to drop dead. But I smile and I shrug and feign ignorance instead.
Copyright 2019, Barbara Etlin, all rights reserved
Okay, you're asking what does Shakespeare have to do with SCBWI? To the best of my knowledge he never joined it. He never even applied for a Karen Cushman Late Bloomer Award. (Being over 400 years old, he would have qualified.)
In October 2002, I went to a Toronto SCBWI meeting held in the beautiful art gallery owned by an illustrator who was a member. But the gallery owner and I were the only ones who showed up! Apparently, the date had changed and no one told us.
Before we realized that no one else was coming, I tried to make small talk with Hashem.
"My mother is an artist," I said, filling in the silence.
"Oh, really? She should bring in her portfolio. Maybe I'll show her paintings here."
She didn't have a portfolio. I asked my artist-friend, Angela, how to make an artist's portfolio, and followed her instructions. Then I brought in the portfolio.
In December 2002, my 85-year-old mother had her first and only solo art gallery show!
The show was named after her painting (shown above), which I named
Imitate the Sun.
I was inspired by this passage from Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One.
Yet herein will I imitate the sun, Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world, That, when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may be more wondered at.