This poem was chosen for a musical response by our Featured Composer, Sherry Paige.
Music by Sherry Paige – Copyright 2019 Pigg Pen Music
It had been her all along: the way the weathervane falls
from the roof. Nothing affixed with any care. Each brick
laid without mortar. Garden hoses
everywhere kinked. Only the closet clean.
My mother wishes to be left on her own. The reappearance
of her mother’s dreams. The whole homestead
brimming with cracks.
Dinner sitting where it will be gone. Ceramic bowls
quaking in dust. Regrets lining each of the cupboards.
I find a candle overflowing with wax. A single cross
on the front door. I want the world to need saving.
I want the world to start over.
Brett Salsbury is a native Kansan who currently lives in Lawrence, Kansas. His creative work has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Gasher, Pretty Owl Poetry, Sprung Formal, and Unincorporated. A graduate of the MFA program at UNLV, he has also served as a writer-in-residence at Sundress Academy for the Arts. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Kansas and a reader for LandLocked Magazine.
Art: Looking up, digital illustration layered over abstract painting
Artist Statement: In matching this illustration, I imagine the poem from the perspective of the mother who seems, much to the speaker’s dismay, unbothered by material clutter and decay whose sights are set on something beyond the physical realm
Music: I Think I’ll Miss You Most of All
Composer Statement: This poem plays in my mind as a black & white video vignette. The music is its soundtrack. As the visitor steps onto the front porch of the old home, only his shadowy form tells us he is there. This music plays in time to the camera’s pan. The eaves of the roof, the crinkled yard hose – opening the door he doesn’t even need to walk in to tell the closet is empty and clean, to envision an abandoned dinner table, to feel the sadness of the cupboard lining as a single candle offers its remnant of a life burned out. Turning to leave the cross arrests his gaze and we watch the resigned sigh on his face while closing the door and walking away.