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Archive for February 19th, 2013

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

On Sunday, I went to an art opening at A&E Gallery. In this show, I knew some of the artists, and I took the time to talk to them about their work and their process. My simple question, “Tell me about your art,” usually leads to a long, fascinating story. I learn a great deal about the artist and what drives their work.

This piece drew my attention. I’ve known the artist, Cathy Mills, for many years. We were Writing Project teachers together, but we had fallen out of touch. When she told me about this piece, she talked about how it had started out as a tree and then became these heavenly women. After others stepped away, she said, “Can I tell you what is really going on in this piece? I lost my son a year ago.” She proceeded to tell me how the painting was healing to her. She feels at peace now. She knows her son is at peace. Teary-eyed, I asked if I could photograph the picture and write a poem about it. I sent her the poem by email, and she approved its publication here hoping it may help someone else who is struggling with grief.

Art by Cathy Mills

Art by Cathy Mills

The Story

The flames ignite in her spine
growing to yellow gold. She can feel
her bones, every sinew, every nerve hot,
like her pulse, raging and fierce.

She remembers the call at 2 AM.
She hears the nurse’s voice,
“We have your son here.”
She knew he was gone.

With all the time she had, every arrest,
every hospital stay, every cry,
nothing could have saved him
from the fire. Now, peace rises

in blue angels from the roots
of her mothering. These women announce
Joy, pronounce Glory.
Tell her that he is well.
All will be well.

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