Van Gogh stood in the rain at Saint-Rémy
and later went off and died
and Winslow Homer did much the same
despite the expanse of fields behind him.
And we will have to leave the museum eventually,
we will be forced out, we will be escorted
to the single blot of a shutting door
as if there weren’t a storm coming up,
as if we hadn’t seen a smudged freighter
going down in the gallery
or known there were windows
to be closed back home
and no distance anymore
between the flower and the burning.
From Iron String, Airlie Press 2013. Used with permission of the author.
Annie Lighthart started writing poetry after her first visit to an Oregon old-growth forest. Since those first strange days, she published her poetry collection Iron String with Airlie Press, has had her poetry chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye to be placed in Ireland’s Galway University Hospitals, and read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. She has taught at Boston College, as a poet in the schools, and currently teaches workshops for Portland’s Mountain Writers. She can be reached through her website www.annielighthart.com
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