Van Gogh’s Les Racines Seen in Summer
Beside a window out to a world covered in leaves,
these roots express winter,
the winter we will soon have this far south.
Not the northern photographs of
marble snowbanks flecked with sun, stiff jade pines,
and pearly-pink skies decorated
with empty, lacy trees. But this winter
in black and white, brown and gray,
of pencil, ink, and black chalk.
In August, we are headed to the paper-coloured
river tinged with stray chalk from trunks and roots.
The empty tree stands stark on the bank.
It commands attention while turpentine
pervades the air. Ghosts of other trees
curl up like smoke. Sunlight
is a thin, brown wash, not cold
Colour returns with spring, flecks of yellow
and green, scents of mud and water,
carrying us back to August
when these roots are exposed.
Marianne Szlyk edits The Song Is... a blog-zine for poetry and prose inspired by music (especially jazz). Her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, is available on Amazon. Her poems have appeared in of/with, bird's thumb, Cactifur, Solidago, Red Bird Chapbook's Weekly Read, and Resurrection of a Sunflower, an anthology of work responding to Vincent Van Gogh's art.
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