Heather Shakespeare

Negative Space


Pointing to the edges of the potted palm
She exhorted us in that velvet Aberdeen accent
To look between, around, anywhere but at the leaves
And in a rare moment of compliance we all, blue-overalled,
Took up our brushes and half closed our eyes
Seeing for the first time how what is not or has not been
Becomes something in the defining of what is
And that without the lamenting and the lost things
There would be nothing there to paint

Published in The Interpreter’s House, Issue 71 – June 2019