The painter had decided to quit painting forever.
The painter had decided to quit painting forever. He was announcing this to his wife as she was busy baking in the kitchen.
“That’s nice, love,” she said. She was making a banana bread the painter knew he would have to refuse to taste, lest it inspire him. He knew he didn’t even dare smell the bread baking — he would have to leave the house immediately.
“I have to leave the house immediately,” he said to his wife.
The painter went on a long drive in the snow, following the graceful turns in a road that ran alongside the river. The snow was still falling, but he didn’t think about it. The air was cool and pleasantly moist, but he didn’t think about it. He turned off the radio and adhered as closely to the speed limit as he could manage.
Despite being intent on refusing sleep and its electric dreams, several hours passed and he had little choice but to return home. Inside, the bread was gone. His wife was upstairs asleep. The house was warm, and it smelled of cinnamon and butter.
The painter looked out the kitchen window at the twin tire tracks he had left in the driveway snow. And as the snow fell and filled them, and as the warmth of the house buried him in the stillness of his life’s most familiar pleasures, he kept watch from the window until the last remaining marks of his day were gone.
Poem ©2013 Dobby Gibson, all rights reserved, used by permission of the author and publisher Graywolf Press. Film ©2013 Motionpoems, Inc., all rights reserved.