Painting in the Hills of Kentucky
by Jenni Singleton

There is an old house. Isn’t there always?
Mostly brick with vines
attached to her sides.
You have to walk through the office
to get to the kitchen.
The kitchen is small, but that’s where
everyone goes anyway -
raisin pecan pie, always
with silverware never plastic or cheap plates.
In the office, this is where the
letters, so many letters, get typed
up on a run-down typewriter that
the ‘e’ and the ‘t’ are not aligned.
And the garden. Oh, the garden
I could curl my hands around the
green beans, the rows and rows of
vegetables, and even funny vegetables
like okra. I could get lost, with someone
calling my name – lost in the juicy
raspberry vines. Maybe if I
crouch down and stay very still…
Of course, there is an old tabby. Named Tiger.
The Lincoln size car of cats. She hunts
at night, the constellation Scorpius
hanging over her head, brightening
the night sky for her food. Scorpius
is over all of us, in the bedroom
upstairs. The door to the bedroom connects
to the door in the other bedroom.
They are so small they are almost
sleeping lofts.
Scorpius, fresh from his victory over
Orion, shines on us all and the pipes
beneath the house rattle, the hard
water that comes out and stains
the ceramic sink in the kitchen.
One day, I want to fly right
over the house in the Kentucky sky –
a silvery angel who paints the
house trim in bright, Mercury Red.
I want to brush in the old tabby with
feathery strokes where he sits
by the office door waiting for his food.
I want to out Monet
Monet the brushstrokes of the sky.
I want to Pointillism the vegetable
garden with the bright raspberry vines
and use Asparagus Green
and paint the green of the garden.
While I am flying high in the sky, and
while I already have green on my palette,
I will paint myself an Emerald Green ring
on my wedding finger.
And I would use Jungle Green on the vines
fighting each other
like Scorpius and boastful Orion.
I didn’t keep any of my letters from
the old typewriter. Regret is something
I feel many times, although I know
it is a waste. The house, she stands
still in the Kentucky hills.
Without Tiger and without me.

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