Your imminent death on Facebook,
your last hours, too late to connect.
Old friend, I’m too familiar
with that darkened room, that stoking breath.
Through Matisse’s open window,
six sailboats ready themselves
for the pink sea. We stand inside,
a slight breeze, the salt air.
Let me remember you by your stories,
your job long ago on a cruise ship--
the women given scraps so they had to beg
from the men’s table, take lovers.
Where will any of us go?
Do you see the walls of this room?
As if the artist’s colours, when depleted,
called for others, greens yielding to pinks.
You disembarked on an island
and called the union.
They wouldn’t let you back on the ship, so you found
a yacht bound for Europe—the cook had quit.
When they discovered you knew
just scrambled eggs and tuna salad
it was too late. A jumble
of mishaps, a beauty.
Our lives a series of corrections,
design obscured. But there
the open window.
Ann Quinn’s poetry was selected by Stanley Plumly as first place winner in the 2015 Bethesda Literary Arts Festival poetry contest, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work is published in Potomac Review, Little Patuxent Review, Broadkill Review, and other journals and is included in the anthology Red Sky: Poetry on the Global Epidemic of Violence Against Women. Ann lives in Catonsville with her family where she teaches reflective and creative writing and music and plays clarinet with the Columbia Orchestra. Her degrees are in music performance; she fell in love with poetry in mid-life. Her chapbook, Final Deployment, is published by Finishing Line Press. Please visit online at www.annquinn.net.
The Ekphrastic Review
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