Deborah LeFalle - Poetry

Descendant Beauty

Ekphrasis poem inspired by Charles Alston’s painting “Girl in a Red Dress,” 1934

Speak to me descendant beauty

tell me why when I look at your
elongated neck and
head held high with bushy hair on top I conjure thoughts of majestic baobabs

why when I behold your
full lips, distinct cheek bones, broad nose, and captivating eyes
I hear ancestral rhythms

why when I gaze at your flawless ebony skin
against starched white collar
I visualize unwavering courage

why when I ponder the whole of you with your stately presence
the poise and confidence you exude
I sense a thunderous elegance

No, descendant beauty
do not tell me why…
because the truth is
I already know the answer.


Editor's Note

"Descendant Beauty" first appeared on on 2/14/22


She never disappointments me
On her I can depend
Reliable and trusted
She is a true best friend

She’s flexible and giving
Asks nothing in return
Enduring and resilient
From her we all could learn

She is nonjudgmental
Can easily assuage
Is there when I need her
Especially as I age

No glares of disapproval
Though I may grow more stout
Offerings of comfort
Is what she’s all about

Going with the flow
For her comes naturally
I am totally relaxed
When she’s in my company

Who is this friend you wonder?
I’ll tell without haste
She’s this wide-band elastic
Around my ample waist!

About the Artist

Deborah LeFalle is a former Mission College faculty member and lifelong learner who started writing in her retirement. In addition to writing she enjoys being involved in the arts, digging into her family's past, and spending time outdoors communing with nature.

She mostly writes poetry, but has also dabbled in micro fiction, memoir, personal essay and children's literature. Ms. LeFalle's work has appeared in various journals, magazines and anthologies, and she has authored two poetry chapbooks: Worthy (2017) and Little Suites (2019.)