Sunday, January 6, 2008

Poetry Sunday

I finished this watercolor of my paternal grandparents yesterday. It's 1927, because she is pregnant with her first child, my uncle Gene. I love their Depression era caps, his driving hat and her oversized newsboy cap. She must be wearing his overalls, because the cuffs are rolled. This is the only picture I ever saw of her in pants; she wears a dress in both my memory of her and the other photos I have.

I chose this poem to go with it because the field used to give up little treasures. I have a couple dozen arrowheads Grandpa collected after spring plowing, and also a china doll's head. These artifacts, along with the old photo, help me feel connected to the past.

By Shirley Buettner

While clearing the west
quarter for more cropland,
the Cat quarried
a porcelain doorknob

oystered in earth,
grained and crazed
like an historic egg,
with a screwless stem of

rusted and pitted iron.
I turn its cold white roundness
with my palm and
open the oak door

fitted with oval glass,
fretted with wood ivy,
and call my frontier neighbor.
Her voice comes distant but

clear, scolding children
in overalls
and highbutton shoes.
A bucket of fresh eggs and

a clutch of rhubarb rest
on her daisied oil-cloth.
She knew I would knock someday,
wanting in.


Teri C said...

What a beautiful tribute and gorgeous painting and such a perfect poem.

Carole said...

This is a really interesting painting because of their clothing I think. They are in working clothes, and yet both look happy and relaxed. It's beautifully painted too. And I love the poem that you've chosen to go with it.

bec said...

beautiful painting and poem! I love their caps too.