A goose struggles in the grip of a haggard old woman. With hollow eyes and enormous hooked nose, she might be a witch. This painting terrified me as a child. One night I dreamed that the painting hung in my closet, and behind the painting, my mother glowered.
As I wrote “Old Woman with Goose” I imagined a bitter artist painting an image that reflected her own dark emotions. But the poem isn’t simply about my artist mother. I also imagined myself as the squirming goose and the cause of the old woman’s frustrations.
“Old Woman with Goose” was a finalist for the 2016 Pablo Neruda Prize at Nimrod International Journal. A revised version appears in Secret Formulas & Techniques of the Masters, available from Brick Road Poetry Press and other book sellers.
Read the poem online: Old Woman with Goose, 30 x 24, Oil >
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