Long-Lost Smile Found

Long-Lost Smile Found (Randyjw; April 20, 2017)


I’ve thought I should stop at the Musée d’Orsay, spend serious time admiring the van Goghs;

it’s not for naught that his work found resonance in the heart.

Yet, despite that deft delftman’s build on a canvas, filled with lapis and ruby and gold

I’ve always said there is one master with which I could never part.


It has been expressed in its time, without tarry

not the Provincialism of local subject or bid

besting the queue for the Louvre by a parry

a provenance felt straight from the depths of within


Mastery in a level recognizable to the trained and not

The better work belonged to the one j’adore

appreciative to discernment in the smiles wrought

shared, yet private, locked behind a separate door


The rumors seemed to swirl when the masters disappeared

a heist imagined to the crime, which didn’t fit

the Mona Lisa’s supposed smile turned to tears

when determined that hers had been just deemed counterfeit


Upturned corners may have dimpled the cheeks into the famous grin

but the attuned ones scoff at the mental disillusion

called out by the daring one with the actual humor and vision

to stand apart and call other shots, hated by the crowd, for both what she is and what she is not


Engraved medallions worn with the mottos and shields of the family crest,

while those on the ceiling of Plaster of Paris feature heavily in the gilded homes amongst the patrons of Trieste

Past collections sold at auction or perhaps stolen by the denizen of its citizens

as if solely ground for the trompe-l’oeil they were passing off the hues of the lead-based pigments rather than the leaved sheets of gold they needed to complete the rest of the tin-pressed foil


Following the fakers, or forgers or fakir

unknowing were led to purchases of dubious distinction

While previous effects far past of toothsome wins might indeed have been truly invented

there was still something inherently behind that sixteenth century smile beyond the facade of Leonardo’s modest creations


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