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Keep your face to the sunshine
and shadows will fall behind you. -- Walt Whitman

The Seer by Clare McCotter after Everlasting Moments

The Seer by Clare McCotter after Everlasting Moments

(after Everlasting Moments)

Painting portraits for the poor

she had a way of seeing

some gladness

in a child’s closed eyes

or ghost smile

in the corners of blackberry mouths.

Carving corridors through time 

to the hour love waited 

on the ground

her photographs were proof

of rag nails and ringlets

rickety limbs laid out as if asleep.

Framed by smells of soup and sweat

placed on a window ledge

beside the ivy in its pot

none thought strange 

the only memento they could have    

when death came swift and soft.

Staring into the camera’s eye

her own crowded 

with dusk and crushed violets

she kept safe  

small hands and warts 

made luminous bone white cheeks.

Darkening with the seasons

and a husband’s mood

her miracles of silver

and light injure

with the certainty of the moment

more than a fist ever could.

The old Contessa camera 

she hid from him 

at the back of a musty drawer

down on the silent street 

a dusting of snow 

falls on the mane of a heavy horse.

The Linnets Wings