• Sarah Van Arsdale

April 25, 2022

On Learning to Paint



More often than not, I’ve simply stood

in dumb awe at the world,

unmoving, unable to speak, a gasp

held tight in my chest.

Near my heart.

But now, I load my brush with cobalt,

red cadmium, opera pink, umber.

There’s a method for painting anything:

feathered wings of jays,

bark of a willow tree,

scales of an angelfish.

But not for things that have no shape or mass:

the needle-thin ring of the wind chimes

or my sister’s laugh.



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