keeping time. in keeping with time. a kept woman. shackled by circumstance. the evidence? circumstantial. as was her birth? No. her birth was planned. but the planners based their plan on circumstances beyond their control. but that was then. when she was on a leash. and now, she is kept. shackled. customary? yes. the links of the binding chains: usual and customary. she roams in her mind, less shackled. still not free. think you she misses the taut flesh of her youth; those masques? her roles in them. shackled then to lush form. as it always has been; so it continues to be. nymph shackled to tree; mermaid to sea. unrestrained women, bound. yet sub rosa unruly free. lush beneath the corset stays plush beneath the lacings. rogue and tongue-in-cheek unchecked; behind the rouge a loosened widow piqued.