This is a painting I have in my studio. It is my great-grandmother, Lois Wiley (1886-1918) of Troy Alabama. It was painted by her aunt (my three great aunt), Ella Murphree (1868-1929) who was an amateur miniature painter.
Lois, the girl in the painting, died in the flu epidemic of 1918 at age 32. She was an amateur poet. I have one of her poems hanging in my studio. It goes:
There is a mystic subtle something
not discernable in kind,
like a mirrored strata reflecting
secret channels of the mind.
It belongs to those who spiritually see
who with discernment hear,
who can feel the pulse of the value of things,
know truth from its shining veneer.
It would seem that God had leaned in love
with a gift for a favored lot,
were it not that the gain was offset by pain
from those who have eyes but see not.