At first it hovers in the folds, this
swirling. Few things stick,
not conversation, train schedules, job details, names.
Everything falls into
Only the losses
get caught in the net, hard little seeds.
Last month four of my loved ones died.
No secret, just normal catastrophe.
Few want to hear
so I stand at corners and paint.
People don’t mind painters
setting up easels, almost
part of the landscape, ourselves.
Our shadows are long purple sweeps across parks.
Picnickers wave as they lunch.
A man in a red cap brings over his son,
admires my watercolor.
I’m not spying, really,
just sketching with brushstrokes and line,
just trying to piece the atmosphere together,
to map this brief landscape.
by Cathleen Cohen
Cathleen Cohen founded ArtWell’s We the Poets program in Philadelphia. Her poems have appeared in Apiary, Baltimore Review, East Coast Ink, Philadelphia Stories and other journals. In 2017 her chapbook “Camera Obscura” was published by Moonstone Arts Press. Cathleen is also a painter and currently exhibits at Cerulean Arts Gallery in Philadelphia. She received the Interfaith Relations Award from the Montgomery County PA Human Rights Commission and the Public Service Award from National Association of Poetry Therapy.
About the Artwork
The accompanying artwork is by contributor Stefan Hengst.