Poem by Sharon Niederman and Glass by Gail Rieke

Wars Ago

Remember when the sight of a fallen sparrow
Broke your heart? You vowed to tell its story
As if storytelling would save the lost and broken
Remember when you marched down Fifth Avenue
Swore to end the war, so many wars ago?
Remember when you came to town, fell in love with
Desert sunlight, Indian drums, the discovery itself
Placed a pawned turquoise ring on your finger
Promised you’d never leave, and you haven’t

But today you left the museum
Walked downtown Central Avenue
Behind the toothless beggar in torn black lace
You handed her your last ten dollar bill.
“What for?” she asked,
Then looked you in the eye
For the first time.

Sharon Niederman@2011

I thought the work of these two women artists felt complimentary. I’ll always remember the 7 types of ambiguity in the lit crit tome MIMESIS–not all 7 but the idea that good art has ambiguity. Ambiguity is layers of meaning. It isn’t ambivalence or vagueness, but rather levels of theme and feeling.

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