24 September 2012

Road Side Dog

I have a volume of Czeslaw Milosz’s poems, Road-Side Dog, which I inherited from my aunt Agnes. She must’ve liked it because it was in a plastic bag. I suspect she admired the dust jacket’s artwork, a simple pen & ink line drawing of a dog whose furry coat is a map of a small town. Agnes was fey and sickly; a liability for her living on the depression era family farm, a people whom her younger brother called unforgiving. She grew into a wife, teacher, and artist. The left-hand image is Agnes standing behind an oak tree in between oak trees. I have a green and grey watercolor she painted of trees. I liked it very much. She said, “I wanted to paint the shadows.” At the end of her days she was widowed, childless, alone, then in an unknown nursing home pumped on prednesone. She attacked to scratch out an anonymous care-giver’s eyes. She did not live long. I'm hopeless with Milosz’s poetry.

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