A Study in Disappointment

THERE we stood, my dad and me: 
Him staring at a painting. 
I was looking back and forth 
Between him and it. 

He asked me, 
"How many colors do you see?" 

"Green, orange, yellow... maybe blue?" 

"No, all of them. All the colors are there. 
Look, pink, purple, gray, brown, teal..." 
But I couldn't see them. 

For art doesn't begin with what you can draw, 
It starts with what you can see. 
And I was given only partial sight. 
I couldn't see it, though I tried 
With everything I had. 

It takes some doing to be a disappointment 
To your parents at age ten, 
But I managed. 

For I was not an artist, as he was, 
I was given no key that opened those locks, 
Neither at ten, nor now, 
At sixty. 

He could see what I could not; 
And he could see
I could not

Though, he too, clearly 
Wished I could

One thought on “A Study in Disappointment

  1. Oh, that is sad! Dad is not seeing that he is denying sight to his child. But we have to love our parents for the human beings they are, not for the idealized archetypes we had wished them to embody. Dad would have been even a better artist had he realized that art is more than color. Even the highest forms of art can exist without color. And the perceptions of each person, that material can become the content of a wonderful art for art is created from that place where you are — not from an imaginary, perfectionistic ideal.

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