Summer Day Number Three

Sometimes I see a dog, or

An alley mural of a steam locomotive,

And it’s as if you were walking beside me.

Today, there were two dogs,

Sitting in a large, mesh-covered white cart

Pulled by a bicycle—

One large bike/cart contraption

that the ruddy man in the painter’s cap

said he modified.

I watched, drinking my usual latte, on a wooden bench

Next to you, drinking your customary double espresso.

We admired the two black labs,

Then looking across the tree-lined street of shops

Were puzzled that a huge black locomotive

And its billows of puffing smoke

Had been painted on the long wall of an alley

Leading to a street of trendy boutiques  and restaurants.

We finished; we stood.

I leaned on my new cane;

You steadied yourself

With your arm that was not in a sling.

You said something you rarely can say:

“It’s not too humid to breathe today”.

And then you disappeared.

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About inkpaintwords

A feminist writer and artist with a penchant for all things French, living in Washington DC. My love of language led me, indirectly, to my pleasure in gardening, drawing and watercolor. It began with a book, a collection of New Yorker garden columns by Katherine White, wife of its founding editor E.B.White. Her enthusiastic appraisal of the literary merit of various garden catalogs led me to collect and keep her favorites as well as to hoard with them some more recently-emerged seed, bulb and seed catalogs. The beautiful catalogs inspired me to little by little turn our entire front lawn (our home had a wooded ravine close behind) into a garden. That grew into a lovely site with two simple arches, a gliding bench on a little sitting patio and modest slate paths winding through beds of shade lovers and whatever plants supposedly in need of full sun that I could manage to coax into colorful healthy bloom. A curiosity about color and color theory emerged as I became keenly interested in impressionist painters; that interest merged in some way with my urge to garden. I acquired more than one book about Monet’s garden and gardens of other impressionist painters, both French and American. One day I picked up a magazine for painters, and found inside an article about a painter I’d known. Among examples of her splendid watercolor paintings was her watercolor of her garden at that time. Suddenly I could think of nothing more exciting than painting my garden. I enrolled in her watercolor class in The Art League in Alexandria, VA. The influence that the collection of Katherine White’s columns about the literary merits of certain garden catalogs has had on my life has come full now. Ink, Paint & Words combines what has become an obsession with drawing and watercolor with my passion for language. Yes, I still garden. A table full of blooming potted plants sits on my apartment patio, backed by an ivy covered fence with park trees behind. My patio, and my larger environment of Washington DC, together provides wonderful vistas for drawing and painting. For a number of years annual trips to France gave me and my companions extravagantly colorful panoramas and charming tableaux for brush and pen. And yes, now I’ve painted in Monet’s gardens several times. But that, as they say, is another story.
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