Resident Artist: Carrie Albert No. 11


Four Chances Before the Camera

(A Quadriptych)


Hilda’s first pose is a black
dress face that reveals daily
monotony: arranging the apartment
polishing silver, baking cakes,
making lists of gifts, missing Poppa,
wearing appropriate black dresses
that don’t hide enough, unbearable
not being able to conceive
a child. Dolls abandoned at
the race track pass quickly

to her second face of yearning,
eyes that see into fairytales: when
buggies become electric cars, a trip
to the country, picnic under
the oaks, drunken glasses.
He removes his hat and hers . . .
The scent of grass turns into

the third face that dropped
the cake and picked it up
and laughed and laughed.
She could be the living doll
whose white cheeks turn
so red with hair so charmingly curled
or the party girl who plays canasta
and doesn’t accept losing, who turns

into a poker face. In silent
spaces after the great war
before the next, Hilda will endure
more tests – epidemics, heat waves . . .
She will wear black bloomers
and delight to prove the doctor wrong.
Hilda will have her baby:
my mother.









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