Sunday, April 11, 2010

NaPoWriMo #4: conversation

Read Write Poem had a great prompt the other day: converse with an image that means something to you. It took me a few minutes to think of just the right image, and then it came to me.

If you've read much of this blog, you know I'm a great lover of Andrew Wyeth's artwork. And the first concrete image I thought of was my favorite Wyeth painting, Christina's World. It was considerably more difficult to think about what kind of conversation I would have with that image, but I took a stab at it.

Conversation with Christina

Andy painted you at high summer
a slender figure framed in fields of dry grass
faded pink set against burnt gold
silver-streaked tendrils of dark hair
barely stirring in a lifeless breeze

My favorite half-remembered tale of you
may not even be true: you crawled every day
to visit the graves of your mother and father
then crawled home again
so I must ask

were the gulls wheeling in the salty morning sky
when you first reached up, turned the brass knob
and pushed open the weathered door?

did the sun-baked stalks crackle under your weight
tearing at your ankles and calves
as you dragged yourself down the hill?

were you thirsty by the time
you reached the bottom or did it take
until you were halfway down the road?

did the gravel leave an imprint
on the calloused heels of your hands
and tender flesh of your palms?

were the graves as you left them yesterday
bleached headstones skirted with neatly weeded grass
and flame hued geraniums in a jam jar?

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