Every Canvas
Every canvas means
The same one meaning, neither more nor less.

óChristina Rossetti

Outside my window, the softball team is at play. Girls hunch
over the plate in turn, knees and shoulders awkward in stances
shaped years ago and outgrown, bats interrupting a sky tinctured
with gold and gray, then flashing forward to contact with a grace
that surprises. One feels the metal striking home before one hears itó
the pulse fires in my elbows and knuckles, or seems to, the sting of it
as pleasant and familiar as the way the girls sling their bats before
feinting firstward. Halfway there they turn and join the line again.

The frailties of sight suggest distinctions that arenít there. I see them
in the pockmarks of this field left to seed and ignored since, the ground
prickled with disregard. Rossetti saw them only briefly, faces carved
from the one face her Artist needed to possess, each turning toward
the light to reveal the sameness that had been there all along. Perhaps
every canvas upon which some part of the world is spread wants the intertwining
of light and sound at the heart of things, leans toward it. The part of us
that understands this lets go what we could hold, releasing. Outside, voices
fuse with the shout of the bat, the weather asserting what is not quite
fall. Shadows rest in the dark tunnels of the ears as cars prowl
the emptying lot. It is something to have the hearing of it.

Graham Hillard lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where he teaches English and Creative Writing at Trevecca Nazarene University. His work has been published in The Oxford American, The Portland Review, Tar River Poetry, Puerto del Sol, and many other journals. His poem "The Lyric Moment" appeared in a previous issue of Boxcar Poetry Review.

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761