Bonnard Remembers Marthe In Evening Light
As I lean toward sunset, the tall trees
hold the sun in such embrace they throb
within me. The stone paths we designed
flow like rivers of molten gold in this heat.
I sit at the open window of my studio
and paint the outrageous color of our garden.
The pulse of hidden seeds beats soft
against the canvas like your small body
against mine. How present you are
in your absence.
The flowering orange drifts to the pink
oils in which I dress you, falls beside me as you
carry the pruned stems by armfuls into the house,
the air delicious with sweetness.
My eyes blur as you bend over your hoe,
something passing in that intense light, a
ripening, a flush, the way you open the baked
soil, coax and cajole it like a child.
Evening is upon us and a lavender breeze lifts
the hair on my arms. The blues and greens quiver
in the changed air, and you drape my shoulders
in a cloak of violet and yellow. Soon a sea of black
starlight will close over us.
Je me souviens, Marthe;
life lives not in the brush stroke, but in between.
Mary Jo Balistreri
This poem previously appeared in Mary Jo Balistreri's book, gathering the harvest, (Bellowing Ark Press, 2012).
Mary Jo has three full length books of poetry and one chapbook. She was a musician most of her life but due to the death of a grandchild and a consequent loss of her hearing, she turned to poetry. Mary Jo has always been interested in art and received her BA in art from the U. of Pennsylvania. Please visit her at maryjobalistreripoet.com. She lives in Wisconsin.
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