the meadow, Monet’s stepdaughter,
carried canvases in a bumpy wheelbarrow
help capture the transience of light.
Hurry, Papa said, the sun sets so fast!
prepared another canvas.
the day, each half hour,
color of the haystacks changed
a bruise on the skin.
my father’s farm, Mother chooses to die.
on her legs, the only modest place
father shows me, ugly purplish and reddish,
sunspots, as if the sun appeared to perish.
run to the harvest haystacks to hide
death. But he finds me.
the funeral parlor, Mother looks like Mother
for her skin. Gone the soft hands
washed my dirty face. Gone
tender cheeks that tucked me in at night.
the supple lips that kissed my forehead.
a hardness, like rock
tote from a fertile plowed field,
the brick of the silo storing continuance,
the bark of an apple tree heavy with fruit.
the hard earth as I sit at the grave,
sun setting, Father’s callous hand
for me, lifting me
a world I know will be forever hard.
I shut my eyes in order to see.
have put you behind me,
green shadow signifying death
maybe a verdant pasture
mirrors, no longer reflecting,
capturing the flight of gulls,
spatters of impasto
with sand, glass, ceramic,
heart is pierced with a lance,
word, or a look from you
I refuse to remain
on the cross.
CIOCIA MARY’S BROTHER DYING
rented a room across the street
she could care for him, a bachelor
cancer. He refused treatment, fifty-some years
To me, at ten, he made sense.
time, Ciocia Mary invited me to sit
rented chair, wooden, green paint chipped,
layers of white, blue, and yellow
his skin. On the rented bed stand, a crucifix and clock.
stared at the clock while the two of them spoke
and out of Polish. When she mentioned me,
chest heaved as if to speak. I smiled.
man on the cross remained silent.
top of the rented chest of drawers
living cemetery of relatives. They smiled, too.
an exchange of Polish, Ciocia Mary
asked me if I played ball. Little League.
words to a man I would never see again.
out the rented window I observed
darkness slowly ate the light,
I felt there wasn’t much time left
me to play.
Weston, WV. MFA National University. Recent poetry has appeared in Bijou Poetry Review, Naugatuck River Review, Prime Number, and Off the Coast. Poetry Chapbooks include Laundry, published by Main Street Rag. Plays have received
readings in Chicago, New York, and Virginia. FutureCycle Press published, Admissions, a book of poems, in 2013.