spring-657483_640I painted my first picture

on a courthouse square where girls

in long skirts and boys in

wrinkled shirts

sang. The sound of acoustic guitars

did something glad to my soul.

I discovered paint and words are very


for a girl who loves rain

and the word blue. Words are more yielding

for someone like me, my fingers trace them

while I dream.

Not that the words yield, but that I learn to give

a little here and there like a real piece of work


A paint brush, I thought, would be like a poem

it is not. I am clumsy with it and had to teach the

colors to yield, blend, and I had to work from the bottom up


When I write a poem, it is more like working from the top

downward, like yoga, maybe

or the word blue. I live inside of it.

I try to speak or write about


but I don’t like that word it tastes like

sucking on a metal hanger when I was eight

it held my tongue for weeks and daisies

smelled like nickel plating.

I think for the painter, it is like poetry and I may dislike you

if you see both and do both and live inside of both.

Because it is like astronomy. I can learn it but I will never stand on the moon.

Yet, I will paint again because it expressed

that purple is my favorite color, but not a word

I will empty all over a blank canvas. No.

Twin girls watched us sit down and pick

up stiff brushes, taught us how to make the seas foam

and how soft water is. I watched them

calm and they were like the trees or the façade

of the old courthouse. Beautiful

and I loved my hometown a little more.

We took pictures with our art

my daughters and my best friend

each piece as separate

as a brush stroke.

Which really is not so separate when you take a step back.

There is a moment when it all becomes whole.

That moment is a gift.

Later, my oldest ate watermelon

with her hands behind her back. And I thought.


What a beautiful day. Right now I am as soft, sweet,

round and open as the word blue.