Blind Venitas

Do not let your paint stick, mother says.

Portraits that began with a cornucopia
of mother’s favourite fruits,
strawberries and cherries, reflecting

colors of my childhood bedroom
through the bedside mirror, where
mother’s eyes met mine.

Her voice guiding my fingers
and soon I would learn
to trace my grandmother’s urn.

I learned strokes, exploring a world
beyond numbers, the pure canvas
my thoughts rushing in to soil.

I will paint churches without
roofs. Then, men holding guns.
Inside the church, a family.

I am in the canvas, mother, between
the world you saw through my eyes,
the skies you painted red.

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