Of my great-grandmother’s paintings
my elders framed a seascape of the Great
Stone Face (which collapsed in 2003).
It hangs on my bedroom wall.
They also let me pick one to keep.
I chose a sunset — a rich fan of reds,
some brighter, some deeper: colors
appealing to my seven-year-old taste.
I think my grandfather tried to explain
what the painting represented,
but it didn’t make sense to me then.
His words came back to me decades later,
long after I’d left for college, my parents
had moved to another town,
and the bloodred sunset had gone
with the rest of my childhood.
If I had infinite thin-air storage
of all I’d ever owned, I could show you
how my great-grandmother saw
the sky after Krakatoa.