I have begun to explore some genealogy and have had my DNA tested. Now that I have dozens of questions to ask my ancestors, only one of them survives. I guess I’ll be writing more creative non-fiction. By reading and writing poetry, I come to terms with my obsessions. www.JoanMazza.com
You Buy a Painting
because the pastoral scene draws you
into a life you always wanted— landscape
with a narrow path through late summer trees.
Its frame could be a window or doorway.
You step through to enter, walk alongside
a creek. Thick canopy darkens this sunny day.
Rare shafts of sunlight poke through to leaf mat,
where white mushrooms sprout. On downed limbs,
lichens, gray and frilled, curl. Mysterious creaks
crack the silence. Whistles could be tree frogs
or birds. From black earth and decaying leaves,
scents rise with each footfall. A hawk screams
out of sight. Someone has followed you
into this painting. No turning back. You look
for another frame to exit. Perhaps a portrait
of the two of you staring straight ahead,
as if horrified by some realization you’ll never
get to speak. This is the eighteenth century.
You can’t step out.
published in The MacGuffin, 2014
©2016 Joan Mazza
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