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The Only Snapshot I Have of My Father's Parents

Jane Munro
From:   Point No Point


suited up
as if this coastal jungle were an English common
as if they were on their way to a party, her hat
decked with roses or maybe they're peonies
such a neat waist for a mother of six, such
a sweet face, the grandmother
who died before I could meet her
for whom I'm named
the Jane he called Jenny
my childhood friend my grandfather
the one who taught me to paint
ultramarine for the mountains, Prussian Blue for the sea
only he's dapper much younger
the same pipe in his teeth but also a fedora
the one who told me he called her name
over and over again after she died
until she came to him
as if she'd just stepped in from the garden
he showed me how he'd stood then
beside his easel by an open door
and how close she was as she comforted him
in the photograph their hats are part
of a grammar of ornament
what to wear when walking through woods
it could have been Point No Point
where these English lovers
strolled on a Sunday through towering sword ferns
named something they didn't know
in the Pacheedaht tongue
each frond studded
with Braille dots letting go smaller dots
brown on his fingers
caught in the lace of her blouse



Jane Munro's works copyright © to the author.


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