The Past Unreachable

The past is but a house in gray tempera—
once a home, now a barren figment
of your mind, cast in muted pigment,
the melancholy echo of a time and a

place you cannot reach. How sad it seems
the artist couldn’t save your memories—
the flowers in the dooryard, and the trees
and green pasture living in your dreams.

The battle’s lost—your lonely fight to grasp
and cling to memories of vanished people.
And like the house, you’re forever crippled;
the artist took possession of your past,

and what to paint on the hill at home—
a faint breeze blowing thin as bone.


“Christina’s World”                            Painting by Andrew Wyeth, 1948

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