The Promenade

The Promenade

        after Marc Chagall’s “La promenade”

                           “There is but one single colour that gives meaning
                           to life and art—the colour of love.”

                                                                          —Marc Chagall

Because the sky above Vitebsk was itself
an allegory—slate road the lustre

of your father’s eyes—you laid out
on a lawn cut like an emerald a red

cloth abloom with mums and morning glories,
on that, a decanter of grape light, a goblet, its glass

rim vast enough for the thirst—for justice—of lovers’
lips (no need for a blue herring cut in two, head

separate from the tail looking back). Behind you
rose the big pink church you paint with a church

—your whole life spent
on a cross—

and branches like loose fists of blue leaves.
In purple silk your Bella was a banner waving

We are home. Your smile was wide.
You held a bird so she could fly.

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