Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Is it okay just to draw a chair,
my daughter asks. No, of course
not, I reply; you must draw
everything you see and always
be drawing. But papa, she says,

a chair is what I see today.
Then draw everything
in the chair, the chair as
everything, I reply, triumphantly,
for I am the father here.

She lowers her head
sensing this is beyond her.
She wants to draw with pen
a papasan, to find the shadows
in its cushion, delineate

the tension in its torqued
bamboo, to capture the frugal
comfort of such a thing
with no thought otherwise—
and in her finished work

I perceive neither the world’s
sorrows nor a symbol of first
world appropriation but just
the chair my daughter sees today
and has seen fit to draw.

• • •


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