The Painter and the Poet
by Debbi Brody
My mother wants me to be a poet,
an artist of any genre, other than hers.
Rich, happy, just like her,
live forever, just like her,
with occasional thoughts
of suicide, just like her.
She wants me to never find
my proper place, just like her.
Painted caves in France, hers.
One word poem, Japan. Mine.
A true artist, she fails to focus
on practicalities, blind to laundry,
dishes, dirty floors, moldy fridges.
I, a writer when composing
and when reading anyone’s words.
She, a painter, as she looks
outward at the world, her personal
palette, as she looks inward at her
dreams, a vaporous visual,
as she glances inadvertently
towards me, an unbroken line.
Cradle Songs: An Anthology of Poems on Motherhood (Quill and Parchment Press 2012)