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  • Alice Wyatt

Girl in A Box




Girl in A Box


In my new apartment hangs

a painting called Girl in A Box

Large, 5 x 5 at least, and very well done

at least I think so


She is a favorite of my landlords

He said I could move her if I wanted

said she provoked strong feelings

I can see why but I like her


The box is really a crate

crafted out of wood, well made

there are no hinges, no locks

not even a door keeping Girl in


One side of the box is open

but she is firmly inside

Her large right hand spans a shoulder

leaving marks against the flesh


Her muscular hips and thighs

are gracefully proportioned

Her head, covered by dark hair, has

an arm protectively thrown over it


Her ribs are prominent, emaciated

Is she slender or starving?

I ask myself this after I eat breakfast

examining my own ribs in the mirror


Her skin is shades of gray

with greenish undertones

not really human?

is she flesh? maybe a spirit?


A spirit of a girl in a box

put there by whom?

kept there by whom?

is the box bad or good?








Questions I ask myself

while soaking in a

6x3x3 cement pool

at the Pelican spa


My body floats gently

legs and arms outstretched

hair forming a floating curtain

around my head and shoulders


“Wait a minute!” I think

I am a girl in a box, a cement box

I put myself here, there is no door

I WANT to be here


I return home to try

this new theory on Girl

Standing in front of her

I know I am gravely mistaken


This Girl is not in a box of stillness

This Girl is in pain, alone, defenseless

her only protection her own arm

thrown over her bowed head


I do not know why she is there

but I know she can’t get out

The certainty of that knowing

overwhelms me



despite the fact she is just a painting

a figment of the imagination

created by an artist I will never know

can never ask questions of


I think I will ask my landlord

to move Girl in A Box

I think I would like

puppies

or a sunset

or some flowers


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This painting was in a furnished apartment we rented when we moved to Truth or Consequences, NM. It is a well-known fact in town that the landlord buys buildings just for more wall space to display his extensive art collection. I really could have traded Girl in A Box for a puppy painting! Despite the ending of this poem, she stayed on the wall until we moved out and is probably still there. The woman who manages the property is terribly crabby though and as bad as I wanted/needed a photo to make this piece understandable, there was no way I was going to knock on her door and ask her if I could take a photo of the painting in Apartment C. Low and behold, last week Google Photos said, "Look what was happening in your life in July 2016!" and there was a long lost (except to Google - so WEIRD!) photo of the painting and my old lab Suzy. I have no idea if I was trying to take a photo of Suzy or the painting, as they are both half in and out of focus but I present to you... Girl in A Box, she still makes me cry. ):



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