Miss Edmonia Lewis in Her Studio
by Patricia Callan
Busts of Robert Gould Shaw, eight copies
of the John Brown medallion (my first
commission) — tourists and collectors
beg for time. I have so little of it.
I have been asked to join a study club
with deep topics; history, art,
literature, philosophy, faith.
Recalling that time in Oberlin, I must
consider these white women carefully.
A more important task: to ponder
the maquette, what tools to best reveal
the weight of fur that Minnehaha wears.
I must do justice to her, Longfellow’s
Indian woman, a woman like myself.
Copyright © 2014 by Patricia Callan.
From Voices at a Gathering: The Reading Club.