Black and White: Part 2

fall2014 273 (2)

Grief, like winter, can be writ in black and white.

It strips away color.  It distorts.  One feel mired in a no man’s land between white light and the cold steel of bottomless black.

Empty chairs and empty tables.  Old bricks, forged from clay the copper red of blood, turn ghostly gray.  Are those shadows from iron chairs, or scars in the sidewalk?  Outdoor seating on the cusp between seasons: even when the sun breaks through, it is too cold to be inviting.

Yet there comes a time when black and white turns Technicolor.  You can see it with a blink–tables filled, the smell of ground coffee wafting through a bakery door as customers no longer cocooned for winter stream in and out, patio seating restored to forest green, yapping dogs tethered to chair legs as their human companions soak in summer sun. Traffic and flowers just beyond the bricks.  A fountain sprung back to whooshing life. Fathers and children walking hand-in-hand.  Alive, alive, oh.

But for now, empty.

Empty empty empty
so many empty chairs
everywhere. They look
charming in van Gogh’s paintings.


I quietly sit on them
and try to rock
but they don’t move —
they are frozen
by what’s breathing inside them.


Van Gogh waves his paintbrush —
leave leave leave
there’s no funeral tonight.


He looks straight through me,
and I sit down
in the flames of   his sunflower
like a piece of clay to be fired.


082 (2)

Missing in Massachusetts (c) SMG


About Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She also is an adjunct professor at a law school on the banks of the Charles and loves that dirty water, as she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2020 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with Wordpress protocol and the numerous other wee buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.
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4 Responses to Black and White: Part 2

  1. ann martin says:

    You see beauty and meaning in black and white, as you do in
    “technicolor.” Lovely post — moving words and pictures.

  2. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I like the way the shadows blend in with the steel chairs.

  3. Denise Glennon says:

    It is those of us touched by Jim, whether family or friends. This week is certainly gray, and shadowy – no color, no coffee smell. And, truly, that is the way it is now and may always be mid-March for us. Our memories and our grief pull us back to this precious, deeply tragic week. Knowing that sunlight and technicolor are on the way, perhaps a little sooner in Pennsylvania than NH, helps pull me through. In the meantime, memories of sadness are just here. Love you.

  4. Marie Keates says:

    Brilliant photos and words. Well done.

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