House Behind the Trees, 1906-07
I want to go home my friend’s mother says
over and over, even though this is the house
she’s lived in for fifty-some years. Alzheimer’s,
dementia, same old story: they want to go home.
I wish I could send them to this house behind the blue
trees, with its solid flattened space, bright primaries outlined
in bold strokes of cobalt. The rest of the colours run away
with themselves, the spectrum as playground. Wouldn’t
we want this, too, a return to childhood’s box of Crayolas,
coloring the roof yellow if we felt like it, the sky, sea-green,
with clouds swimming by like a school of fish. We could splash
pink wherever we wanted, eat marshmallows for dinner,
yell oley oley in free as the shadows twist and lengthen.
This poem was first published in Barbara Crooker's book, Les Fauves (C&R Press, 2017).
Barbara Crooker is the author of eight books of poetry; Les Fauves (C&R Press, 2017) is the most recent. Her work has appeared in many anthologies, including The Poetry of Presence and Nasty Women: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse, and she has received a number of awards, including the WB Yeats Society of New York Award, the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, and three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships. Her website is www.barbaracrooker.com
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