By Thomas Page


Trying to capture someone’s essence,

When they are no longer with us,

Is like trying to replicate mummy-brown,

Or Homer’s wine-dark seas,

Or the rose of Augustus’ statues,

Or the kinetic motion of Van Gogh,

Or the undulations of O’Keeffe,

Or the that shade of blue of Matisse,

Or the stinging wit of Behn,

Or even the rotation of the Earth.


How can you capture a spirit,

Like ethereal fingerprints

That are not your own?

They exist intermingled with each and every

A memory divided like loaves and fishes

Out of a single physical being.


A portrait may hang for all and none to see

Embalmed in oils and pigments

With that look,

That look branded on the person

Who painted them ever so long ago.

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