Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 19 . . .

Sharing Christina’s World

     by Don Thackrey
     art: Andrew Wyeth’s “Christina’s World.” 1948. Tempera on gessoed panel. Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York.

          [Standing before Andrew Wyeth’s Tempera]

What brought her here, frail bird with broken wing?

She turns to look uphill toward emptiness:

The house severe, outbuildings featureless,

A pall of nothingness on everything.

Tempera’s soft-stroked pale hues whisper, bring

Us close, that we may see the plain pink dress,

The bone-thin arms, the suede shoes meaningless,

A landscape shorn to show life faltering.

I step toward her (forgetting she’s not there),

Not knowing how to speak without offending,

But sensing she, with grace, will understand

There’s something in her world I need to share:

I must, for penance, drop to earth, intending

To drag myself, with her, across that land.


Don Thackrey spent part of his life on the prairie part of north-central Nebraska that looked very much like the landscape over which Christina crawls in Wyeth's tempera. Don now lives and writes formal verse in Dexter, Michigan.

“Sharing Christina’s World” first appeared in Common Ground Review.


© 2010 Don Thackrey