Pictures – a poem by Francis Fernandes


Mother on her knees planting bulbs
in the flower bed and father
secluded in his study upstairs
perfecting tax returns: this is what
I see so many years later, as I drift
between the kitchen where I wash
a few dishes at a time,
and the living room where all
sorts of things are happening.
Don't ask me to supply
the details. I'm steeped in them
as it is, what with this stay at home
business putting on hold all surges
of motion in the brimming world
while yielding and framing
these simple scenes of diligence
and devotion. My own tax picture
looks bleak and I know next to
nothing about flowers, but there's
a poem in my mind that does not
have the words Girl With a Pearl 
Earring or The Potato Eaters
and it goes on like a patient Bach
fugue, branching off into the dark
and back into the light
again, and trying not to forget
the main theme.

Francis Fernandes grew up in the US and Canada. He studied in Montréal and has a degree in Mathematics. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Zodiac Review, Beyond Words, What Rough Beast, Third Wednesday, Poetry Potion, Montréal Writes, Underwood, Bywords, Enclave. He lives in Frankfurt, Germany, where he writes and teaches.

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