mona lisaMona Lisa_Jeannie E Roberts_2015
Mona Lisa
by Jeannie E. Roberts

sometimes she sits like Mona
practiced in her pose―

with arms
in gentle fold
slight smile
as silent welcome

a pleasant
postured air

in a chair
she’s availed herself
an image

set in prim repose
not recognized―

who knows where love
may lead you
down open roads
or halls

where landscapes change
and rearrange
like paintings hung
on walls―

who knows why
old ways flourish
why rebirth touches few
where veils hang

in closed refrain
in lieu of larger views―
she sits like Mona Lisa
practiced in her pose
when biased eyes

PAINTING: “La Gioconda,” aka Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci (early 1500s), Musée du Louvre, Paris.

PHOTOGRAPH: The author posing like the “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci. Photo by Bruce Pecor.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem considers the marginalized human being and demonstrates how the need for acceptance can result in adaptive behaviors and conformity. The minimization of humans based upon race, beliefs, gender, appearance, education, and other factors is an age-old issue. Even today, especially in smaller communities, backlash and shunning is evident for the outspoken person, the person perceived as being different, or the individual considered a threat to the standards of the norm.¶ The “Mona Lisa” was painted by Leonardo da Vinci during the Renaissance period. This cultural movement influenced European intellectual life; it impacted art, music, science, politics, religion, literature, and philosophy. Humanism played an important role during this early modern period; it encompassed an intellectual, philosophical, and ethical stance, embracing the progress and the value of all human beings and their individual and collective human freedoms.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeannie E. Roberts lives in an inspiring rural setting near Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Her second book of poetry, Beyond Bulrush, a full-length collection, is forthcoming from Lit Fest Press in 2015. She is also the author of Nature of it All, a poetry chapbook (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and the author and illustrator of Let’s Make Faces!, a children’s book. She draws, paints, and often photographs her natural surroundings. Learn more about Jeannie at