Monet goes out to the field in the morning. The wind blows the broken straw about his feet and tousles the mat of the grain stacks. Behind the hills, the early sunlight pours out, so bright, he sets up his easel in shade. Later, the sun rises from behind the grain stack, burns his eyes into a squint; waves edges until the tangle of the wheat becomes a ragged harlequin cloth hung above the line of hill and sky. The reflection of the sky, the shadows of sight bursting open: in the field he sees flat planes, two houses, their roofs, and curved spots, two figures working, their backs bent, flooded under light; until the round of the stack draws its edges dancing flame, draws its fire through the field, a kaleidoscope in his eyes, as the straws scatter, bathed in a coral sun. And below the last grain stack he signs his name in that red, and walks home, and shadows wash his brushes clean again.


Published in Aspect Anthology