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Vermeer: Girl Interrupted At Her Music

ISSUE:  Winter 1976
When her mother entered the room, he did not
look up. The young girl’s pale skin turned
white as the shawl she wore. He was pointing
to a figuration of counterpoint, or so
he said. But there was something in the room
of the body giving off light, light was moving
toward the window instead of from its source.
And though his hand still clutched the back
of her chair, the mandolin was covered by sheets
of music, the glass of wine had not been
touched. Though the air in the room seemed
lighter by the old woman’s leaving, nothing
so heavy as speech would be uttered between them,
for there were still lessons to be learned,
what was to be played would soon be played out.


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