“What Is Not Lost” by Sharon Cote

Ekphrastic Challenge, October 2018: Artist’s Choice


Hanging Collage by Courtney Carroll

Image: “Hanging Collage” by Courtney Carroll. “What Is Not Lost” was written by Sharon Cote for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, October 2018, and selected as the Artist’s Choice.

[download: PDF / JPG]


Sharon Cote


In my dream it was morning
or evening, the sky lightly stained
with Easter dyes,
the fields and mountains
glowing like an old stovetop,
dark in spots.

You were there, in a
living tree, living, unlike you,
but in my dream it was so
and you were back.

You played and sang
and the music grew and grew
and shifted the air around us
and was so much more beautiful
than even I remembered.
It tasted like fruit on my lips,
I could see it before me.

And your music was calling
others back too, everyone really,
and those of us still
on the ground stopped,
stopped whatever we were doing
and looked up and listened.

And everyone was stunned
or smiling, even the sky,
even the tree, and you most of all
until everyday light and
scrubbed it all away.

But I’ll hold on to your music,
clutch those notes tightly. They
are mine to keep, they
always were, and I’ll
hold on to them as hard as I can.

from Ekphrastic Challenge
October 2018, Artist’s Choice


Comment from the artist, Courtney Carroll: “I chose this poem because it captures the sensory feelings of memory so well. I enjoy the exploring the senses associated with someone loved and gone. It can seem like even trees smile when you think of that person.”

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