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She sat near the window to catch the cold day's last light. Some call it dusk, the dying of the day. He had left her with nothing much, his great-grandmother's dresser with the dulled silver mirror. He had never liked rosewood or where she placed the dresser in the room. Left behind because he hated sentimentality and it wouldn't fit in the movers' truck.


In a typical fit of anger, he had thrown most of her clothes, her jewelry, her hats, coats and shoes out of the partially open window. Her hairbrush and hand mirror, as if she was the sinner. Perfume from France, her Limoges figurines scattered and shattered, on the sidewalk below, for all to see.


He had taken the Persian rug even though he knew how much the red meant to her, the fractal coastline of the pattern's weave. A wedding gift from his side of the family, most of them no longer alive to care or speak on her behalf. Oddly, he left their framed photographs on one wall, some twisted mockery. What sort of man would take even the dark brocade curtains, leaving a lady so unprotected?


She settled down to read his familiar concise handwriting in the only chair in the room, the emerald necklace suddenly too heavy around her neck. There was no apology, no explanation. He mentioned the butterfly collection they had built together. In carefully chosen words, he wrote that he had taken that and her father's Victrola, with all the music cylinders so that he could remember better times.


(an ekphrasis on the painting, A Lady in an Interior, by Danish artist Carl Vilhelme Holsoe (1863-1935), with a focus on what is not in the painting)

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