Still Life : September 15, 2001

by Carmen Mason

Is that what it is
this life?
Painting on water
the center not holding
no still life anywhere?

I am glad that the
children are still
on their swings
lovers still
holding hands
tighter than yesterday

fishermen on the bridge
watch the smoke
from the towers
forgetting the line’s pull
the silver dervish
at the end of the line

Driving by the small park
I notice it’s filled with
birch trees, triumphant
warriors of blight

a bride and groom
walk to the edge
of the pier and kiss
as the merciless smoke
leaves the frame of the camera

I am aware of all
I have not seen for years
All things precious

I see everything now
and wait for the next
glimpse of subject
the registering
the arm lifting
the brush taking
its oily ink to write
to paint on water.

I have been writing prose and poetry all my life.
They are sighs of joy, cries for help, testaments of love
or loss, refuge and epiphany. They surprise, console
and astound me. Just like friends and strangers do.