Someone asked me to write a poem


A co-worker who was retiring asked me to write a poem related to a photo he had taken at the Olson House in Cushing, Maine, which is where Andrew Wyeth created the iconic American painting, Christina’s World. We had visited there with our team while on assignment for another project. Below, are photos I took that day of the graveyard, where Wyeth is buried, and the home that was closed on the day we visited.

Thank you for asking, Michael.

Andrew Wyeth’s World
       The Olson House, Cushing, Maine

Late summer. Bird noises.
Tang of salt ponds in the air.
Tall pines border a meadow
of mown hay, a worn path,
a family plot on Maine bedrock.
Sun wanders in and out
behind gray, resolute clouds.
Light. Dark. Light again.
Your thin slab of stone flickers.
Uphill, the battered house
looms. Its shadowed windows
stare back at you, questioning
why your bones settle here.
Are you still trying to capture
the woman’s wasted legs,
the stab of pink in her dress,
blade upon blade of grass?
Or maybe you simply wanted
to watch her curtains billow
in a sea breeze once more.

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