A BRETON GIRL SPINNING
after Paul Gauguin, 1889
She came out of the breadfruit tree,
a breadfruit body,
fruit of the bread, the wine, a Breton girl.
She stands spinning a path to the sky,
calls her angel to send her wings –
wings to match her rose apron,
wings like the russet sails of fishing boats.
She calls for cinnamon wings to fly her away
into the phthalo sky of her dress,
to fly from the cowly dog and the dogged cow,
the thatched roof and the narrow fields
with their orange and brown, their creams, their greens,
to fly until she can rest in the indigo shadow of her breadfruit tree.
‘A Breton Girl Spinning’ by MJ Whistler was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2015) judged by Oz Hardwick.