April sunshine has given me the courage to take on the challenge of writing Ekphrastic poems. I have never attempted to translate the emotion from paintings, drawings, sculptures, or other visual works of art into words. The challenge will require me to dig deep to tap into the passions such works of art create inside a person. Most of what I write will be speculative. There will be times when I will place myself into the mind of the artist. Still other times, I will express the emotions I experience gazing at the work of art. If I get creative, I might even tell the story from an element within the artwork. This Ekphrastic poem is based on a painting by Grant Wood entitled American Gothic.
I know these people,
(Maybe not them, but their progeny,)
Hard folks of the land.
Weary from work and personal agony.
Willing to put their hands to labor,
Faces withered from the sun.
Eyes focused to spy on their neighbor.
Early for church on Sunday to listen to the homily,
Afterward at the carry in gather gossip to savor.
Always mindful of faith, Country and family.
Hands to help as long as you follow directions,
And do as we say.
Our word is our final benediction.
There’s no room to do things a different way.
We’re folks of the Midwest, monochromatic and cold.
Long faced warriors of the plains.
Fearful of the future, clinging to things that are old.
When everything is said and done only dust remains.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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