P was a patient I visited as a hospice volunteer. She was an artist, and I loved hearing her talk about her sketches and paintings, and her creation process. She thought I should learn to draw.
This poem is only published here.
P loves shadows only painters can see,
so I read her the May Swenson poem the psychic saw.
It lays out a plan for the new year: my hands will be birds
lighting on the pages of a sketchbook that P says
shows over time the way we learn, the acts we bring into being.
Hiding in my bag are the books we never get to,
the five chairs she liked in art class for their secrets.