Romare Bearden, Evening Limited to Memphis, 1987, paint and paper collage on board, Hickory Museum of Art Collection, Museum purchase partially funded by Carolina Mills and friends, 1989.5
COLLAGE OF MEMORY
after “Evening Limited to Memphis” by Romare Bearden
Our lives did not intersect.
North, south. Black, white. Male, female.
Yet Romare Bearden glued a circle
of yellow paper above a cobalt roof
and I see July’s full Thunder Moon,
hear distant rumbles, feel static in the air.
He used a scrap of calico, River Birch bark,
dab of black paint and I smell
a wood fire, simmering garlic,
onion, red kidney beans, Sunday
dinner’s ham bone. He tore
a tar paper train, white plume,
reaching sky and I ride through the night
on the North Coast Limited, Chicago
to Missoula, where Granny, smelling
of camphor and lemon oil, waits
to hug me with logging-camp arms.
Remnant of burlap, African mask, India ink
and I dream of us together on weathered
porch, bending blues harp, playing guitar.
Kelly DeMaegd reads “Collage of Memory” at Art of Poetry on March 8, 2014.