Brooke VertinElectric Contour, Self-Portrait (pastel on black paper)

I snipped a lock from her tail for a pendant
hoarded it, braided it, kept it close.
Once I rose it to my lips but stopped short
of tasting it. The carnations we dip dyed
in the barn were drying from the rafters
and I could have marked her grave
with them. My job was to catch the weight
of her head when the vet lowered the syringe
so that her jaw didn’t crack on the pavement.
I did it, like hauling a dripping melon
from the garden. I won’t compare her eyes
to moons, cataracted and sullied, not bone
white, not gleaming with terror, but calm
and the harpists in the haylofts dropped their hands.


Jane Huffman


Artist's Commentary:

This poem left me speechless; there is a somber yet electric energy.  I read it not only as a meditation on life passing, but also as introspection, a self-portrait.  I see a connection in the eyes, the colors, the moon-glow white, calm and thoughtful, emerging from the darkness.