Saturday, August 17, 2013

“Things We Might Have Done” by Debbie Okun Hill

Wentworth Corn Field, Steve Greaves
If we had more breath, more time
we might have taken art lessons
explored the Cadmium Yellows
in a vase of freshly cut daffodils
slid our feet in Prussian Blue seas
a sip of wave, so comforting
before your wild wheezing
windpipe storm arrived

Dying Rose, Sarah Kirk
We might have dipped our fingers
in Raw Umber, licked the Titanium
Whites in your cumulus cloud sky
but today your easel frame collapses
your skin, dehydrated
tissue thin like parchment
your mind clogged with squeezed oils
mixed media memories
the weight of paralysis

Can you still hear that murmur?
Your fading heart beat
erasing years of
creativity with each stroke--
today you no longer hold a brush
dab the pale paint that colors your
hospital canvas existence
your sheets twisted in frustration

Between each pause, each breath
your family spoon-feeding
nurturing your artistic palate
you whisper your last words
like pencil sketches, grey smeared
a half-breath we strain to absorb
lean close, closer to your lips
your loss of drawn-out conversations
and as you shrink inward,
drop Earth’s palette
are you still thinking
of kaleidoscopes
cut-up colors of life
collages of familial activities
we did and might have done together?

“Things We Might Have Done” was first published on the League of Canadian Poets National Poetry Month Blog 2011 and recently reprinted with the work of four other Canadian poets in the anthology EnCompass 1, a special project for members of The Ontario Poetry Society. For information about upcoming Ontario Poetry Society contests and events see here.

Debbie Okun Hill is the current President of The Ontario Poetry Society. To date, over 235 of her poems have been published in over 105 different publications/websites including Descant, Existere, Vallum, The Windsor Review, and Other Voices in Canada plus Mobius, The Binnacle, THEMA and Still Point Arts Quarterly in the United States. She has published two chapbooks with Beret Days Press. Her first full collection is expected to be launched by Black Moss Press later this year.

See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Milton, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Dundas, Kitchener, Guelph, London, Woodstock, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Bracebridge, Orillia, Sudbury, Muskoka, Peel, Halton, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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