On that October day

the thought arrived.

It just landed,

couldn’t see the direction it was coming from,

light and soft,

a revelation……

and I couldn’t stop smiling.

I must make a painting of air…

It would be titled, “Untitled.” 

Looking back, I wonder what was special about that day.

Invisible spiders’ webs forced me to walk with bent knees

to avoid veiled headwear.

I closed my eyes, listening to leaves falling from a great height,

catching and releasing on their descent

and followed the gnawing sound of a squirrel .

I thought of that line by Ezra Pound…

“I stood still and was a tree amid the wood, 

knowing the truth of things unseen before “

and I remembered lines I had written in school

about flickering maple embers,

the last of the marigolds

and the garden pulsing in the purple light.

Scribbled in pencil on lined paper,

it had rested on the windowsill

until the only thing left

after years of fading 

was the pink margin line.

It was at this time of year exactly

with the same low sun,

when all the farewells of the garden

looked their most beautiful,

and Rilke’s words, “Silent friend of many distances, 

see how your breath enlarges all of space,”

reminded me of departed friends,

their laughter still lingering. 

Copyright © Kathleen Gaitt

Then I scooped up all of those wonders

into a glass jar and closed the lid.

Perhaps I would only need water on my brush 

to draw the air as easily as drawing breath…… 

and I couldn’t stop smiling,

because one day if my daughter has to sort through all the accumulations in this house, 

she will come across the jar labelled, ” Powerful Air “

and she will understand me well enough

to keep the lid on 

and pass it down through the family.

Copyright © 2021 Kathleen Gaitt

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