by Madeleine Beckman
At the Cézanne exhibit – I cried
looking at his drawings, reading
Cézanne drew every day.
He made pencil and paper breathe
the way you could – while waiting for me
to emerge from ballet class
quickly sketching on a restaurant napkin.
Some of Cézanne’s work in the exhibit
wasn’t good, he had failures too.
We need failures as well as brilliance
it’s all part of the pitted road
When I was distressed or depressed
during the few fatherly moments shared
long distance on the phone you’d remind:
“Get lost in your work” knowing so well
that bringing something from nothing to life
is ballast keeps us from going under.