Painting the soul


Artists learn early:
use shadows to create the face,
body too. Make darkened line a thigh --


swooping smudge, a derriere outlined black
against faded sky.
Purple daub ties highlight to shadow,


a grave awaiting its final filling in.
You departed, lithe,
hips curving down an evening path,


finally obscured by oaks cloaked in gray,
loss paralleling any hope to paint the soul.
Charcoal turned black,


no touch of red, hint of light --
gone, futile watercolored try
to bring what's dead to life.


Timothy Pilgrim