Arshile Gorky (1904-1948)
by George Kalogeris
Springtime on Arrarat. Before the flood
Of those who fled too late. Yet just in time
For the child who painted flowers, birds, and trees,
On dozens of eggs. Eggs for Armenian Easter.
Fragile ovals that hatched his fledgling grasp
Of indestructible Art. At least for the feast
Of Resurrection Sunday. When everyone picked
Their painted egg from an open basket, and played
The ritual game of holding it out to be tapped
By anotherís egg — then all around the table
Until there was only one who held the lucky,
Impeccable one. And nothing iconoclastic
About those delicate mosaics — just brilliant
Bits and pieces of flowers, birds, and trees,
Scraped from the plates at the end of the family meal.
Springtime on Arrarat. Before the blood
And the shattered domes of the tiny monasteries.
Embellished childhood, arrested in embryo.
To make the pigments stick you sprinkled them
With grains of sand. To paint an Easter egg
You held it up in the palm of your brooding hand.
You luck intact, at least at the start, Manouk.
Copyright © 2018 by George Kalogeris.