Nights at Saint-Rémy
By: Laurel Reynolds
Bright sun over tangled olive trees;
when I see yellow brush strokes,
I imagine you mixing every shade of yellow
from daffodil to mustard to gold.
I imagine you smiling.
You know, this painting was always my favorite.
I was five and stared at it for what felt like hours.
4515 miles from Saint-Rémy,
I was captivated.
I bought the postcard version
and saved it for years.
Now, I’m nineteen and Starry Night
sits above my window.
Your self-portraits line my wall.
I wish you could see this.
I paint you in all hues of yellow
and I see your self-portrait at 80.
I would give you my left lobe
if it could bring you back.
I would give you back the postcard
and childhood wonder
if it meant you never needed
to spend a night at Saint-Rémy.
If you could have left okay.
In the field, did yellow rays
beat down on you? Was it night
and you counted every star?
I would trade every painting
if it meant you walked away
from yourself unscathed.
First Published at Incandescent Review