after Mademoiselle Boissière Knitting
(1877, oil on canvas) by Gustave Caillebotte,
the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


When new her drapes matched perfectly the hue of the wallpaper and its bearings, but time has distinguished the fabric with fading, passing on to the spinster’s ancient visage and dexterous hands still knitting white caps and waves of gloves and stockings dapples of the reds and greens of her setting. When the nieces say their sons must visit Mademoiselle Boissière they see no difference between the person and place.




James Penha: A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for the past quarter-century in Indonesia. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes in fiction and in poetry. His essay “It’s Been a Long Time Coming” was featured in The New York Times “Modern Love” column in April 2016. Penha edits TheNewVerse.News, an online journal of current-events poetry. @JamesPenha.