Notes from the Shelter: Portrait of a Lady Stuck in a Wall

Topics: Poetry
Portrait of a Lady by Klimt

Some days I think I’m getting used to this shelter-in-place thing. Humans are good at adjusting to things and most of the time I’m grateful for that. But today I went to the grocery store and things there are not normal. I’m not used to people wearing masks or red blocks on the floor to keep us from getting too close to each other. I hope that normal comes back again to that place and that I don’t ever get used to what I saw today.

Because I need so much to think on better things, here is the poem for my weekly poetry month post. I remember writing it on our trip to San Diego in January when people could still get on airplanes and go on trips.

I wrote it in the early hours before my family woke up after reading a story in the news back when the feed was not packed with masks, airborne transmission, and social distancing.

May you all be well and not need groceries too often-


“To the Lady in the Portrait”

What was it like

Those 20 years in a Wall?

The ride with the thieves?

Did they forget you?

Get arrested for something else?

Have an accident or die doing something else nefarious?


What did you hear while waiting in the wall?

Was it something the curator said that made your cheeks

Turn red?

About the author: Karrie Zylstra Myton is a blogger, essayist, and aspiring author who writes for the wild joy it brings on the best days and the hard lessons she learns about life on the worst. After crafting stories in the ridiculously early morning hours, she chases her two sons, cuddles with cats, and laughs with her husband about how crazy life can get in middle age.

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