Things on the wall
I’ve been, of late, taking mental pictures in my house
of things on the walls, paintings and knick-knacks and mirrors,
which I’ve seen for years but never really looked at.
I don’t know where most of them came from, trips I suppose
we’ve taken together, but maybe some trips
she took on her own, shopping, or on trips with friends
I didn’t know she had, and she put them up on the walls waiting
for me to notice. If you asked me to close my eyes and
say what was on this wall or that, I wouldn’t get more
than a third right. But I think I’m starting to admire them,
or at least see them and suppose that others must admire
them, or are touched by them, by her, her eye for beauty,
touched by her warmth. Nothing on our walls say anything
about me, nothing I chose or bought, a few drawings of mine,
scattered here or there, that look kind of silly, just as
there are no photos of my family, living or dead.
It would be funny to have a small framed photo
of Aunt Pearl as a young sly Jewish woman
with glistening teasing lips, a random thought about
to emerge from them. I really don’t need to have anyone else,
wouldn’t know where I’d even get them,
a photo of my late lost parents, my distant affectionate sister,
her California children, my Italian-American cousins,
my father’s Sicilian mother looking like she wants to hit
a child with a switch, I don’t seem to be missing any
of them on our shelves or in our breakfast nook
or on the bedroom dresser, except Aunt Pearl would be nice.
I would look at her now and then
and she wouldn’t be out of place.