Ghost Through Torn Flag
Each night Dufy’s Street Decked with Flags
goes crooked on the wall in our house.
My mother copied the painting with watercolours,
I actually inherited two of her copies,
she must have been going through her French period.
The main flag hangs in the centre of the painting,
from a wire stretched between two buildings.
A dozen or so people stroll in the street: men in straw hats;
a woman in a white apron outside a restaurant; a woman
with an umbrella. In my mother’s copies, but not Dufy’s
original, the flag at the bottom left corner is torn open.
Through this tear my mother made,
I can make out a figure,
whose ghost makes the painting go crooked each night.
Lee Stockdale’s debut poetry collection, Gorilla, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Publishing Company in the fall of 2022. Lee attended Antioch College, The University of Washington (BA), Case Western Reserve University (JD), U.S. Army War College (Master’s in Strategic Studies), and Queens University (MFA). He and his wife live in Asheville, North Carolina, where they feed thirteen wild turkeys who daily come to their back porch.
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