Light, Particularly
     Watercolor and graphite on paper, 10 x 7 in, 1974. Inscribed, lower left and on reverse.

I've been thinking about light,
a phrase in the center of the artist's note
found on the back of her 1974 watercolor
infused with light, ruined by it
but also somehow saved—
how refracted seaside light
on that porch, that September afternoon,
low-hanging light, light glancing over the sea from the west at an angle so dangerous
it ignited every bush, must have diverted her from thoughts of
daughter's divorce, husband's distance, a president's fall.

When her brushstrokes caught that light with perfect omission
she turned the page over and scrawled,

in case my paintings are ever "discovered" after I'm dead,
this is my statement of what I was trying to do.

She bathed in her own light that moment, anointed,
wrote as if freed by the brush—

she warned the dull earth:

don't believe anything—except this—

this light

on this particular porch

this afternoon.

Janice Wilson Stridick's work appears in numerous journals, including Arts and Letters, Atlanta Review, Dos Passos Review, Matter Press, Monarch Review, and Philadelphia Stories. She won the 2012 Lois Cranston Prize from Calyx Journal, and her book and art reviews have appeared in publications including NY Arts Magazine and Cape May Star And Wave. In 1992 she launched Southbound Press and served as editor and publisher of The View In Winter, a three-generation work of art and poetry. She has an MFA in writing from Vermont College and has taught writing at Rutgers University and Bucks County Community College. A resident of Southern New Jersey, she lives with her delightful architect husband and one cranky cat. Her website is located at www.janicewilsonstridick.com. (stridick@gmail.com)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761