Saturday, 17 July 2021

Georgia O'Keeffe's It Was Red and Pink, 1959*

by Karen George

Yin and yang.
color of fire, blood, the root chakra,
cherries, traffic lights, stop signs,
Little Red Riding’s hood,
matador’s cape,
cupid and devil,
love and hate,
a flushed face,
Scarlet Letter shame.
The red pantsuit Mom forbid me
to buy, Wearing red turns heads.
Amsterdam’s sex district,
luck in China, what brides wear,
mourning in Africa.
As if the artist poured paint
let it drift, imprint,
before she dipped brush
in water, wet the canvas,
strew suffused, unfurled pigments                                        
mud-brown, marbly-green.
Tall, red cannas lined the length
of my husband’s house.
Tender perennials, he unearthed them
each fall to replant in spring.
When we moved to a condo
we gave the knotted rhizomes
to my sister. Did they survive him?
I remember he said, Bury them
with their eyes face up.

* * * * *

*Here is a link to an image of It Was Red and Pink:

Karen George is author of the poetry collections from Dos Madres Press: Swim Your Way Back (2014), A Map and One Year (2018), and forthcoming Where Wind Tastes Like Pears. Her work appears or is forthcoming in in Adirondack Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Sheila-Na-Gig OnlineMom Egg Review, Gyroscope Review, and I-70 Review. She reviews poetry at Poetry Matters: Her website is:

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