[Inspired by Ólafur Arnalds’ “Fyrsta”:]
Fingers like tiny pale branches,
outstretched and frozen
in place, just so, ever reaching,
movement only for a touch –
thought she saw a painting once
like this, image captured,
ever on display in muted colours;
memory crystalline on canvas.
But what about the frame?
Here, golden hair, static with cold
caresses her cheeks, rosy, bitten
by the air; but that painting…
Did she care? Did it matter if
wood held secure that landscape,
or flaking gilded style? Focus
blurs as attention fixes once
again on how those twigs,
frosted, so cold to touch, her fingers
now did seem. Was it her heart?
When had he last called her “queen”?
She lowers her hand and sees
without meaning to the picture
at large: when had she become
so small, so cold? When
had all her memories merged,
fragmented like ice? Were they
her fingers, or brushes? Who
had she been? How
had she painted her life?
[Copyright © N R Nolan 2016]