Out of the Badlands of Her Life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
making beauty out of ashes

Submitted: December 31, 2007

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Submitted: December 31, 2007

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COWGIRL


In some western U.S. state
she has a web site all her own.
I keep track of her career there,
not having seen her in 30 years.

She married an artist like herself,
and they together produce good art.
Too abstract for me -
I have no artistic sense.
But, if I could afford it
I’d commission her to paint
a triptych of places we both have loved.

I saw her - girl of three -
already Osage tall like her father,
irrepressible as her mother,
equestrian to the bone.
And,
like her mother,
full of talent – and not a little too blunt.

I saw her at six –
cowgirl with an artist’s eye,
drawn to harvest colours,
the shades of Hereford hides
and stockhorse manes.
Awkward filly,
dressed for work on a working ranch,
canvas shirt and Levis.

I saw her in teenage years –
living with her battered mother,
broken household, damaged dreams -
hard years and sorrows
when last I saw her -
mixed-blood statuesque,
blessed with her mother’s eyes,
and her father’s high cheekbones.

I remember in her twenties -
flowing from the Corn Maiden myth -
she designed and sold women’s clothes,
wool on leather –
and senta jacket to my wife.

I remember that she studied art,
to be a teacher -
and all the while a camera in her hand.
Professional photographer sometimes,
paparazzi-for-a-day when once
at a rodeo by happenchance
Prince Charles
walked past the stables.

I know that as a child
surrounded by mountains and Badlands
she internalised,
etched them on her soul.
Now they rise –
pouring forth acrylic vibrant,
enduring statements on canvas
and on wood.

I am proud of
the person she has become –
not because of status,
which anyway she ignores,
despite her role as art professor –
but simply because
she makes beauty for others
out of the Badlands
of her life.


by James Gagiikwe 2007


© Copyright 2017 James Gagiikwe. All rights reserved.

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