drooped artful like
by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

turns out online
a profile pic
was required
at every turn

putting a face
to the name
to the work
to the byline
when luck smiled

and at first it was
lack of good angle,
quality camera,
the right lighting
that finally put me
in a hat
a black and ecru
straw-ish thing
that drooped
on top kind of
artful like

I stood bone still
in a wall corner
hidden by and
blinded by the brim
the laptop mouse
rested on my thigh
fixing one shoulder
at a downward tilt
and clicked

and it came out
not half bad
so I used it
for everything
for a long while
including inside
my first book

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My first profile photo.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I first entered the internet, providing a profile pic for every writing or social site I joined was intimidating for a couple of reasons; 1) actually getting a self photo taken that didn’t look like a deer caught in the headlights, and 2) showing myself to what felt like a million strangers, and having to deal with the overt attention and advances of so many of those million male strangers. Getting that shot of myself hiding under that hat made a big difference.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wanda Morrow Clevenger is a Carlinville, Illinois, native. Over 410 pieces of her work appear in 145 print and electronic publications.  Her nonfiction “Big Love” was nominated for 2016 Best of Net by Red Fez literary journal. Her debut book This Same Small Town in Each of Us (Edgar & Lenore’s Publishing House, 2011) was released in October 2011. Visit her magazine-type blog, updated at her erratic discretion, here. A full-length poetry manuscript is currently seeking representation.