by Paula Goldman
after Monet’s Impression, Sunrise (1873)
Each morning when the sun streams
into the bedroom from the lake,
I see Monet’s Impression, Sunrise.
How he did it in one sitting! No,
he was standing at a window
overlooking the harbor at Le Havre.
Three boats, derricks, cranes, anchored
ships, an orange and muted gray
sky fill the painting. A ladder of light
slips past the boats into my room.
When he moved to Giverny,
a gardener cleared all the plants,
dead and dying flowers, before
he awoke, to trim one’s life
to what is alive. I wake to the light,
the golden leaves of autumn bustling
on the bluff leading to the lake.
He jumped into the Seine, trying
to kill himself, acclaiming a new way
of looking at light, coming in through
my blinds, the pink sky over
the horizon filling me
with beauty and hope. The leaves
are fast falling. The two of us
here under the covers, another day
of light. To see the light, Monet,
one has to see the dark.
Paula Goldman lives in Milwaukee with her husband, Allan. They have been married 52 years and have three grandchildren. She sees the extraordinary in every day life mixed with visual art.