I wanted to paint like my older brother. I created sienna swollen-thick lines on canvas. Thin attempts at cadmium yellow fruit in failed crimson half-circular bowls, then on to cartoonish suns and moons.
All symbols for what I desired to know and show to others. I cried when turpentine fumes sent me into a spell of dizzy confusion away from the brush and oil paints.
Now through words instead, I am still trying to invoke the sun and moon as I lie down, stare at glowing unattainable figures. All metaphors at best. While my brother has conjured his forests so real, he has wandered off the canvas edge and become lost inside the painted woods.
-- Maureen Sherbondylives in Durham, North Carolina. Her latest book of poetry is BELONGINGS. Her work has appeared in American Judaism, Calyx, The Stone Canoe, and other journals. She teaches English at Alamance Community College in Graham, North Carolina.