Friday, January 6, 2012

Framed in Silence

By Lynn Domina

In the end he believed
death could arrive with the satisfying thunk,
thunk, thunk he felt splitting
wood, repetition and variation
marking each oak log, every day
in this life, and his art—how everything changed
when beasts filled his canvas, when the lion
glared past his viewer’s gaze, when the second leopard
bared his teeth. His neighbors thought
all his paintings alike. This secret he kept:
he began each morning with a dab of red—
one child’s blushing cheek, ripe apples
dangling from gnarled branches, blood
tipping the lion’s claw—then painted it out.

He didn’t think he would return
to his studio, he remarked as his daughter
stroked his quilt, and then something—a bird or moth—
lifted his breath away.
Friends declared a great man
had fallen, recalled
his fiery faith, his preference for the narrow path,
all of them careful to frame their memories
in silence, for such is the habit
among those who grieve
anticipating solace.

Lynn Domina is an access student in ESR's M.Div. program. She lives in the western Catskill region of New York, where she teaches English at the State University of New York at Delhi. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Corporal Works and Framed in Silence, and the editor of a collection of essays, Poets on the Psalms. Her recent poetry appears in The Southern ReviewThe New England ReviewChristianity & Literature, and many other periodicals. 

No comments:

Post a Comment