by Claire Scott
Each day I take a sip or two
when you forget — oh, the word
for oatmeal or call our long-time
Yesterday a heavyset police officer
brought you home and I wanted
her to hold me in her arms.
Instead I thanked her, and
took another sip.
When you speak sharply to me,
say I stole your favorite sweater
I feel a flash of fear and, yes,
take another sip.
When the last light of lucidity
is lost in coronal haze
and memories are scoured
from your mind, when I leave you
at Grand Lake Gardens in a room
too small for books or watercolors,
when there are no more quiet suppers,
or sharing of a grandson’s A in math,
Japanese beetles on the roses,
a mistake in the phone bill even,
there will be no great wave of grief
to hammer me, leave me washed up
ashore and gasping as the seabirds circle.
Here Be Dragons
As a kid I loved to paint by numbers.
All those colors! Such exotic names!
Each shape labeled, simply follow along,
painting for hours until the unicorn,
the butterfly, the elephant appeared,
to the bedroom wall,
my own private Louvre
Lately I thought I’d like
to try again, lose myself
in painting, forget this world
of rising waters, burning fields,
lies and broken promises,
of gods who left long ago, abandoning
their lesser angels and a wizened snake
Amazon promised relief of stress, creativity,
no experience required. I clicked,
the kit arrived, but with surprisingly
few colors; only ebony/obsidian
I unroll the canvas, a perfect 16 x 20 inches,
no creases. I see the familiar pattern
of outlines and numbers, and I am six again,
dipping my brush, dropping out of time, until —
strange shapes gather along the borders,
numberless, like dragons on the edge
About the artist: Eric Sorensen’s current practice includes both water-based works on paper and oil paintings on linen. He studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute and is currently based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Watercolor on paper (2019). Find more of his work at ericsorensen.com.