Monet, First Impressions – Sarale Farkas

My mother was twenty-one and engaged
when she sat on the living room couch
working on a needlepoint.
I imagine her, phone cradled under her chin,
voice breathless with euphoria
fingers tugging each piece of soft-colored yarn—
turquoise, cerulean, fir green, mauve,
yellow, cream, and dove gray—into place.

She must have been attracted by the swans
gilding in the shadowed moonlit pond
gazing at one another with the exquisiteness
of two sentient beings seeing themselves
in another for the first time–
two slender necks joining in a heart,
beaks touching as they whispered
into each other’s mouths.

Beside them, bright lilies
flared up lavishly in the water,
air bubbles rising like dreams
from beneath the surface.

She did not know then—
the swans would shift, and turn away,
the heart would be pulled apart,
and one day she would be sweeping
so many slivered shards of glass
where the needlepoint slipped
and the frame shattered
on the tiled floor.


Sarale Farkas is a high school teacher in her early twenties residing in central Jersey. This past summer, she received scholarship to study poetry at Harvard University through the Poetry in America™ initiative. She adores the works of Mary Oliver, Yehuda Amichai and Li-Young Lee. Her poems have appeared in Binah Magazine.

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