I am a stretched canvas. My mother’s
yearning background color. Dress dusty
pink the color of my first ballet slippers,
hair putting up a fight. Thin black belt around
my nickel of a waist, it takes me years
to become a body. Walking even longer.
The field is everything to me. The way sunlight
wakes up the colours, the way the hint
of a road slices space into before
and after, the way home keeps moving
away. Collapsing onto the grass,
oblivious to how it can stain you,
mark you as a child. When do we start
seeing the world as wider than we can
hold? I paint myself away from the edges
of the picture, on another coast, different
weather. I paint the story of my mother
and what she wanted. I remember when
she gazed on me, and when she gazed not
on me. I carry hollowness into the rain.

-after “Christina’s World” by Andrew Wyeth