— Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist
National Museum of the American Indian
People walk across a canvas, across mountains
people who belong
to each other at least. Gold and green slopes fall
into a gash
peeled back to jewels. Life creeps from the slit,
leaps pale into pink,
red, neon feet contrast the brown mound of sex.
The steeple and arch,
drape of an apron pinned at the corners
of wife and mother
side by side with a pool of water swept by low branches,
where earth meets leaf
and curls of current thread blue to blue too turbulent
When the square cross crosses from one panel to the next
there is no path
back, only forward towards the hills, the smell
of oil and wax
on hands that build and scratch, digging for long
lines of unhinged colour.
Learn more about the Kay WalkingStick exhibition that inspired this poem here.
Grace Mattern’s poetry and prose have been published widely including in The Sun, Calyx, Prairie Schooner andYankee. She received fellowships from the NH Arts Council and Vermont Studio Center and has published two books of poetry. Her writing and artwork can be found at www.gracemattern.com
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