I love words and dig poetry slams. I've been writing poetry since I was about 5 years old and my mother tells everyone I was born with a pen in my hand. I am a project manager by profession and reside in Utah with my handsome husband and our two outstanding children. You can read more of my work and follow my poetry adventures here: http://trishhopkinson.com/.
A Painting of Me
It hung on the wall in her house when I was young.
She sent my portrait to an address from the back of a magazine
with a money order for the specified amount.
A foreign artist recreated my infant image,
on canvas, with oil paint, and then returned it to her.
My chubby legs peeked out from underneath the light blue
calico dress my mother made; the bonnet I wore matched.
One summer, when I returned to my Grandmother’s house,
I asked if she still had the painting, the frame needed repaired,
so it no longer hung on her wall.
When she brought it down from the closet shelf I was in awe
of its size. It had seemed much larger, seen by my toddler eyes.
She offered it to me and I took it home, planning to have it cleaned
and the frame repaired, for someday hanging in my daughter’s room.
When my grandmother was still alive, I couldn’t afford
to restore the painting, but now that she’s gone,
I can’t seem to take it down from my own closet shelf.
Mouth Open to the Sky
“It’s raining!” she exclaimed with excitement,
a child accustomed to Utah desert.
Open windows; open doors; let it in.
She leaned and pressed her nose against the screen,
and inhaled. I could hear her breathe in deep.
She slid her hand out under the roof’s edge
to help her estimate what to expect
before stepping out the door to get wet.
I glance at my jacket hung on the back
of the chair, then turn back to her. She spins
in circles, her mouth open to the sky,
her eyelashes tremble at each raindrop.
She senses my pause and sees me watching.
I stop and put on my jacket, hood up.
Winter lies at my feet
like a shamed mistress.
I bow to bid adieu to the chill and the dreary
and welcome the warmth of a new season.
I nod gratefully to the dawn
as she rises early to greet me
and pursues the equinox in flirty sandals
and a bit of shimmer atop her
brow. The earth tilts his bowler
as she sways her hips past the moon
and finds her place at edge
of the horizon.
Ode to Endings
Tonight I ponder the ends of things--
the ends of stories and shoelaces,
the ends of lines and relationships,
of articles, of candle wicks, of women, and men.
I contemplate the end of history,
the end of the present, the end of the world,
the end of faith and prophecy,
as well as the tail-ends of things,
like catching them, the tail-end of the news,
of a T.V. show, of a conversation.
I wonder why you’d want happy endings
rather than happy beginnings and
whether or not I should watch
the alternate endings and why
they weren’t used, why have two?
It seems we always have to choose
between a sad ending, a dramatic ending,
an explosive ending, a clever ending,
a mind-bending ending, an unbelievable end
to a howling, pink bottomed, new birth
of an otherwise slobbering, mundane day--
a day that giggles when tickled,
blubbers when hungry,
coos to the moon and cries for its mother.
Tomorrow, today will be one day older.
Inspired by “The Swing” oil painting by Jean-Honore Fragonard
Happy accidents often display true intentions--
a glimpse beneath the skirt in the wake of cherubim.
Former virtue may become a thought soon left unsung,
a girl regarded as a woman rather than young.
A curtsey to her lover once thrust up by the sway
and leave her gentleman for Cupid without dismay.
Jean-Honore Fragonard, The Swing, c.1767, oil on canvas
©2014 Trish Hopkinson