by Joanna Gilman Hyde

The Hawk Living Room 4:30pm

A new arrangement of paintings

builds a triangle upon My Living Room Wall:

My Mother’s Portrait as a very young woman

painted by My Uncle

dresses the wall below My Balcony

hanging in the middle

above two impressionist paintings

of Africa — She took Me

as an infant to grow there

in Gabon and came home

with these two paintings

I framed in art school —

one showing a grass-roofed hut

palm trees with seated figure —

the other showing four bark canoes

and two figures readying them

in the foreground of open water

and open sky —

My First Year In Africa

She called The Worst Year

of Her Life — spent insomniac

underweight, pregnant

with My Fated Brother —

Africa inspired Her Novel


never published —

Her Portrait looks down

to those two African paintings

and I look up to all three