On Seeing a Stranger Witness Wheatfield With Crows
It was a Friday when I first saw you,
frozen into a past I’ll never know,
like one of his models, worn down into the clay of earth,
a haystack robbed of sound, a swallow in a rainstorm.
The painting is of course, beautiful,
but what I remember is you, staring at Van Gogh’s wheat fields,
the strands of your hair pulled back,
rows of maize, straying fields of willows.
arteries of dark clouds undulating in that hidden air.
You were sobbing at the weight of bearing witness
to the quiet of a coming storm.
No artist will ever paint my mother,
who looked the way you did when she let a phone fall
from her hand like water after the hospital called.
I didn’t know art has everything to do with the weather,
how close it can come to the surface.
A storm tears asunder.
A flock of crows flies south.
Robert Walicki's work has appeared in a number of journals including Fourth River, Uppagus, Vox Populi, and Chiron Review. He currently has two chapbooks published: A Room Full of Trees (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014) and The Almost Sound of Snow Falling (Night Ballet Press, 2015), which was nominated to the 2016 New York Showcase of Books at The Poet's House in NY. His first full-length collection of poems is Black Angels (Six Gallery Press, 2019) and his latest book, Fountain, was just released from Main Street Rag Press.
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