You were a little bird in a tiny house, I know, and he kept you too close for your own good.
Love is a gravitational force—a planet in orbit, Atlantic waves at midnight, pull of two magnets.
You were a little bird in a tiny house, so you painted it as a canvas and knew it by heart.
Art is a gravitational force—oil paint in an empty sardine can, bristles of brush, turpentine hands.
You were a little bird in a tiny house, I know, curled-whorl of seashell carved body.
Flight is a painted seagull—wings on glass of front window, and then, so high up in Digby sky.
Paintings for Sale
Your fingerprints—and then sometimes
his—impressed in depth of oil paint,
along the edges of a worn barn board.
Your hands—driftwood sculpted
and spindled—one tucked under an elbow,
the other holding a long brush.
Your head—aching from the fumes
of paint and turpentine—and how
it throbbed at the end of the day.
Your days—bookended by love for
Everett—and your view, a front window,
the light coming through painted flowers.
Between loneliness and light,
in the substance of a painting,
brush strokes against silence.
Between cage and freedom,
a life mapped by strange fame,
cars stopping on the road outside.
Between Maud and far beyond Everett,
and how she rises above him now, rightful and
triumphant—painted wings, wide, out over the sea.
Kim Fahner lives, writes, and teaches in Sudbury, Ontario. She was the fourth poet laureate of Greater Sudbury (2016-18) and the first woman appointed to the role. Her latest book of poems is These Wings (Pedlar Press, 2019). Kim is a member of the League of Canadian Poets, a supporting member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and is the Ontario Representative for The Writers Union of Canada. She recently won the League of Canadian Poets' 2021 National Broadsheet Contest for her poem "Beekeeping." Kim can be reached via her author website at www.kimfahner.com
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