Dad’s Second Canvas

My father doesn’t understand small scale.
His preferred medium, sculpting softwood
logs with a chainsaw, his first painting:
a 32” X 40” anybody-can-do-that piece
of abstract expressionist splatter.

I asked for it to encourage new exploration.
It hangs in my stairwell, peripherally
gathering dust while our lives pass by.

Dad hung his second and last canvas,
in his childhood home for his mother
after his father’s death. It was an if-
I-can-do-it-you-can-do-it-you-can-too
gesture—                                  
coaxing her toward a new hobby—an
edge- to-         edge 
close-up of a stand of white birch trunks huddled 
together during harsh winter in which one of their number
succumbed,                               snapping in a freeze/
thaw/freeze cycle after enduring a lifetime bending
in shifting winds.

Grammie followed Grampa before her heart surgery
ended. The brushed birch returned to the artist, who
propped it appropriately near a his wood stove until it
f
  e
    l
       l
sustaining a perfect, 90-degree incision. Dutifully patched,
it hangs unceremoniously beside the downstairs commode,
continuing to float through the dust of unassuming lives.


Analog Beauty

little hands-
calcium cogs making
miniature crystal movements


fluttery fingers-
bug legs exploring
dirt, then walls

Jordan Trethewey

Jordan Trethewey is a writer and editor living in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Some of his work found a home here, and in other online and print publications such as Burning House Press, Visual Verse, CarpeArte Journal, Califragile, and is forthcoming in The Blue Nib and Fishbowl Press. His poetry has also been translated in Vietnamese and Farsi.

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