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  • Retreating into the Distance

    I hurry toward my father, who sits
    with a group of strangers on a log, laughing
    and talking. Sunshine has tanned his skin;
    he looks lean, healthy and happy. I smile
    in anticipation, eager to hug him, to exchange
    greetings. Then I remember he died in 1998.
    I wonder if I am dreaming and open my eyes
    in the dark bedroom. My father
    and his companions hover in the night air,
    still talking and laughing. A holographic
    video clip from heaven, I think, as slowly
    they become transparent, shrink and fade,
    disappearing as if retreating into the distance
    beyond the bedroom walls.

    What could I have said to him, after that first
    awkward greeting? How could I have parsed
    the distances between us? Would I
    even have wanted to try? Odd that I wished,
    that I expected, to hug him. We rarely touched
    when he was alive. I seemed to anticipate,
    a healed love, that perfection I longed for
    all my life, suddenly arrived. I shout after him
    in the dark bedroom: “I love you, Pa!”
    An answering warmth joins mine, as if a dark sun
    radiates into the bedroom, spreading through skin
    and bone. My husband stirs, turns over, reaches
    an arm to encircle me and snores softly
    into my hair and ear. I snuggle a little closer.


    Mary Stebbins Taitt
    for Joseph and Keith
    130125-1008-1b(2), 130125-0953-1st

    I can FEEL that good love, that healed love, peaceful, eternal, joyous, inside me still, this morning.
  • Sometime, I just get busy, doing what I do, writing poems, applying for fellowships, working on my novel, painting pictures. I remember that there was life before Cowbird.

    I'm in an art exchange group. We send sketchbooks around. The first picture is on the cover of my Round 4 sketchbook, about to begin its maiden journey. The second picture is on the back of my returned round 2 sketchbook. About to be archived on my bookshelf, after I make and post a video of it.

    I painted the first one last night and the second one the night before. I wrote the poem that same day. 1-25-13 and 1-26 13. I tried to make myself look like what I really look like, especially in the one in front (Round 4). We went out in the back yard and took a self-portrait photograph and then we came in and I painted it. I made a point of taking it in the spruces, but then zoomed so close the spruces don't show.

    The earlier painting, the second one in this grouping, is from a picture of me that Keith took in Slovenia. On our honeymoon.
  • and finally, a watercolor.
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