Black and White
In weeds behind Grandma’s roses
I discover a scrambled drawing,
a tangle of lines too distraught
to have been scribbled by a child.
The paper’s crisp as a dollar.
The scumble of fine black lines
drawn in the densest India ink
suggests the windswept hairdo
of a favorite movie star.
As I formulate that metaphor
the paper rustles in my grip
and the lines rearrange themselves
slightly, almost making a shape.
I try to discipline the mind
with tenets of freemasonry,
the Cartesian paradox,
the Aquinas proof that God
remembers all our birthdays.
Laid flat and smooth on my desk
the drawing heaves like a fever.
Tiny feet, a child’s patent shoes,
and slowly the hourglass
of a flimsy cotton dress dyed
cornflower blue. No color,
of course, only the outline
of a definite cornflower blue.
The child lacks arms and a head
so I leave, closing the blinds,
and let the geometry ripen
in the dim afternoon. At dusk
a storm crawls across the hills,
groaning and weeping, an effort
I respect. The drawing, I find,
has almost completed itself.
It smiles. I touch it. Lightning
sneers at the window. A hiss
of electrons passes from me
to the child and she rises
full-sized from the tiny page
and embraces me so thoroughly
the simple black-and-white of me
explodes the illusion of flesh.
words: William Doreski, New Hampshire (blog)
image: Molly Sutton Kiefer, Minnesota (blog & photos)