and their work unknown
to most in their lifetimes.
Pages are devoted now
to their achievements,
hobbies but meticulously practiced.
Subject matter can be idiosyncratic
if it does not equal
shelter and sustenance.
Find their work and enter
as into 19th Century novels:
Chansonetta Emmons, Emma Coleman,
Margaret Morley (no one even mentioned
that she owned a camera), Alice Austin.
Some of their gilded lives
ended sadly, for fortune
is ever fickle. But I see
now their whites and grays and blacks
and frozen-forever eyes
and human forms as treasures,
cream skimmed off
to be poured over a bowl
of freshly-picked, luscious peaches,
a lesson in how wealth begets wealth.