Blond hair, streaked through like a California
but then, those beautiful eyes!
Gazing out from the unfinished canvas -who was she?
A wealthy patron? A long lost love?
And yet there was something sinister
in her eyes that told a different story.
Elegance and grace followed her form,
but sadness flowed through her essence.
Something odd reflected
off the impervious, protective shield
that was once a youthful, happy face.
What losses have you suffered dear woman?
What sadness do you know?
Turning to the next painting on the sidewalk
I notice a tall, slender woman standing near the curb.
Could this be the woman in the painting?
Age showed on her face, and around her ankle,
a tattoo of a man's name.
The tattoo on her heart:
one that was not the same.
Another lost soul
searching for the one man
who gave her life more joy
than she had ever felt.
As I walk on by to look at another
I'm reminded of all the stories they tell:
their dreams, and hopes, not far from view,
for you can see it in the work they do!
Every artist's canvas is an open book.
A page ripped from the life
of some one or another or maybe even me.
Why was hers unfinished, I wondered?
She reached to touch it
her hand trembling.
Then she drew back.
She quickly turned as if to run
but changed her mind
when she caught my eye.
Yes, this painting told a story,
one full of pain.
But then I saw the brightest board,
an artist's rainbow'd masterpiece with
happy thoughts in every hue
spilling off the easel.
Like a painting in a fancy museum,
full of life and love and laughter.
A miserable man mutters, "My kid could do that,"
and I think: Yes! That is the point!
The artist remembers the freedom you have left behind
and welcomes you....to return!
An artist just is. They have no choice in the matter.
It's something that comes out in many ways.
But most of all it comes from within,
And touches a part of themselves
That has to express what lies inside.
Hesitating one last time, the golden haired woman looks again.
Did she leave something behind,
or was it just the way things go?
An unfinished canvas speaks volumes....
Dare you ask?
Someone once told me
beauty is already here,
you only have to get out of the way.
I think I'll just step back
and see what happens next.
A tall, good looking man steps forward.
He slides his arm around the blond woman.
Then he picks up the unfinished painting,
And they walk away into the crowded streets.
June Sanders, Bernice Wagnitz, Kimberley