My mother spread brown paper
on the kitchen table, drew
the outline of a pattern,
sketching until finding a shape
revealing contours, creating
a unique fashion picture.
My father wanted a picture,
a written trail of paper
as he spent his time creating
the perfect school. He drew
on teachers, students , to shape
each day into his pattern.
Aunt Rose discerned a pattern,
when scanning every picture
in Vogue, learning the shape
of next year’s clothes. She used paper
clips, her place marks, when she drew
up her wants, she said, “Just creating.”
My grandmother crocheted —one oval shape
added to another. She told me of her mother creating
landscapes and portraits out of paper
cut-outs, the art of the scissor. Patterns,
emerged, an archival testimony. A picture
of her Polish roots. Like her mother, she also drew.
Cousin Mel painted his car, creating
dragons, shark teeth on the hood. No pattern—
just acrylic colors flowing. He drew
a psychedelic fluorescent trip. A picture
belonging to him. I copied his figures on thin paper
using pen and ink to bring out each shape.
My Uncle Max, the black sheep of the family, drew
inspiration from caves. He found a shape
of life bordering between a watery picture,
stalactites and risks. He balanced creating
an ordinary life with a pattern
of reading of his exploits in the local paper.
I found a pad of paper and drew
a schematic of our patterns, the shape
of creating a family picture.
Linda Watskin ©2010
Big Tent Poetry "Come One, Come all"