Grandmother’s unfinished watercolours


I’m no expert – but I can find the perfect ring

Of grey, where the daylight-moon of a jam jar base

Left its watermark, to the northeast region of her sky.


Authenticated: it was hers, alright,

As sure as the paper is rough, as she was rough;

As sure as it smells of oak.


I can make out, through failing eyes, the highlights

Of a hedgerow, with dark lines, branches black;

Fenced out, some bold outlines in residual ink,


And a stone wall which dissolves as

Whole pieces were stolen over years, or washed with rain

As it recedes to an inexact distance;


I am no expert on this. But I knew her, once.


I see an untrained hand but a good sense at least

Of the colours, the movement of those arthritic trees

Bearing still that element of green; and yet


It is not entirely coloured. To the northwest corner

Areas of field are not remembered; leaves are misplaced;

Sadly, a good amount of view is washed out;


And the sky,

Like all blue things, fades to white.


I wrote this for my college publication, The Dial, back when I was still at university all of nine months ago. I am glad to say that it is based on no relative of mine; although the subject matter is so delicately tragic that I can barely bring myself to read it anymore. 


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