Poem 219 ± January 9, 2016

Jeannie E. Roberts
HIV Positive, circa 1990

―for Doug Wyland

That day you stepped into the gallery,
sun at your back,

walking elegantly in chiaroscuro silhouette,
the glass wall gleamed

and so did you. Like Michelangelo’s David,
you appeared as the chiseled

Goliath of health, and I held joy
in the luminosity of your presence.

With a smile you asked, “Lunch soon?”

It’s been decades since that visit,
and I had no idea

that rendered within the light and shadow
of that afternoon,

where the shape, colors, and aesthetics
of life shone before me,

our exchange was more than an invitation
to lunch, it was an exquisite,

artistically delivered, parting-gift.

I recall the voice on the phone explaining,
“Suicide by car exhaust

was far better
than what was coming.”

Jeannie_E_RobertsJeannie E. Roberts is the author of the poetry collections Beyond Bulrush (Lit Fest Press, 2015), Nature of it All (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and the author and illustrator of the children’s book Let’s Make Faces! (Rhyme the Roost Books, 2009). Jeannie lives in an inspiring rural setting near Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin where she draws, paints, and often photographs her natural surroundings. Learn more about Jeannie at www.jrcreative.biz.