House Behind Trees, 1906-7
~Georges Braque

[audio link]

I want to go home my friend’s mother says
over and over, even though this is the house
she’s lived in for fifty-some years.  Alzheimer’s,
dementia, different patients, same story:
they want to go home.  I wish I could send them
to this house behind the blue trees, with its solid
flattened space, bright primaries outlined in bold
strokes of cobalt.  The rest of the colors run away
with themselves, the spectrum as playground.
Wouldn’t we want to go there, too, return
to childhood’s box of Crayolas, coloring the roof
yellow; the sky, sea-green, with clouds swimming by
like a school of fish. We could splash pink
wherever we wanted, eat marshmallows for dinner,
give up our naps, yell oley oley in free
as the shadows begin to twist and lengthen. . . .

—Barbara Crooker, Fogelsville, PA