The Truth That Haunts Us

(For Camille Claudel: Sculptress, Lover of Rodin)

Ah, Camille
you fell for Rodin’s stone curves,
but yours were far more seductive.

The clay you dug and hauled yourself
from beneath the streets of Paris
turned into line upon line and
curve upon curve under
your shy, knowing hands;
turned into movement, life, and tentative glory.

Even Rodin was in awe of you.
He would never tell you just
how powerful, how masterful you were.
He could never admit the possibility
of someoneC a woman no lessC
greater than he.

Ah, Camille, your passion betrayed you.
Tossed overboard by your own demons,
You turned a Paris corner and never came
quite back.

Rodin became the panoply of all your fears,
the symbol of what you would never become.
For, more than Rodin,
you were afraid of
Camille.

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