Archive | September 2014


I brought home a nice, (Andrew?) Wyeth print-
two overcoats hung before a mantel on nails,
artfully arranged as though a surprising find.

You can imagine them damp and musty —
steaming boots, wet socks thrown nearby.
The classic Wyeth view of woods, bare oak
branches tapping at the “six over twelve”
double hung window with peeling frame.

There must be yet another window on the
right side of the hearth, for the sunlight
reflected on the floor is at the wrong angle
for the left window in view…it doesn’t matter.

I would not have chosen that ugly frame,
but now that it’s hung, it fits, and begs I hang
my own coats on hooks alongside it and the
other treasures collecting on the front hall wall –

a carved picture of Mom’s front hall in Japan,
a rusty cork and metal fishing pole sans reel,
a wooden Swedish bread bowl filled with a piece of glass
from a dig up Independence in the hills near Aspen,
odd rocks… gifts from Lake Michigan, Redstone, Glenwood…
driftwood from Deception Pass etched with the date of our
visit by my own brother, Eric; our family door rock,
and a 1929 Underwood typewriter with dried ribbon.

I’m glad now I bought it, this hackneyed old print.
It was fun to find it amongst the dust and tired toys.
I hope I saved a cute, old dog with brown eyes and soft paws.

rJo Herman
(to be edited and spiffed when I’m in the mood to kill something)


I just this year put this picture in a box for ARC, donating it for someone else to enjoy.  It was amazing as I looked at it through the last four years…I realized there was not the hint of a fire at that hearth, and what I first thought were heavy coats, were not…what magic, Wyeth makes, when you look at a picture and see what you imagine, rather than what is there…