The Muralist, Allen Tupper True (1881-1955)
What he does get right is:
the Lakota hero’s after-death scene
this stop-motion shot
last breaths puffed tobacco mist
blue heron wings fanning sage smoke.
He knows how
the center-stage figure recedes
a river-mist sky.
Ghost grandparents step into foreground.
Shake the juggler’s scarf inside out.
What is living disappears
What is absent comes into focus.
What he forgets is how pigments fade.
Spin the colourwheel
red yellow blue.
pink lemon gray.
In another century pastel
its own invisible shadow.
His vision of
another man’s vision
dissolves into primer white
its unraveling of outlines.
Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09, won Red Mountain Press Editor’s Choice Award for Shadow Light: Poems. Other recent books are Turtle’s Beating Heart, memoir (U. of Nebraska Press) and Casino Bestiary: Poems (Spartan). She has won 3 Ks. Notable Book Awards and other recognition. She teaches in Baker University’s MLA program. www.deniselow.net
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