Jo Nelson

Frida saw god in the eyes of a monkey, eyes that sucked at her soul;
saw awe in the moon bowed fingers  curled like Madonna on child,
saw the bold tracings of fur, the sweet leather lips pursed.
The tail was new but she grew to yearn for its coil—
the joyous flick laughter that curled up like dove wings over the market.

Once the brush voice spoke, she painted her climbing trees,
her altars strewn with vanilla beans;
her knuckleknees daubed with lightning splash and rain soft moss.
She was at a loss when the padre questioned her faith
because she saw god in the monkey,    god in the flower face
god in us all.

Copyright 1998, Jo Nelson
Jo Nelson has been a writer-in-residence for the Washington State Arts Commission; has taught French, German, and English in Maryland and Colorado; and now teaches occasional poetry seminars and workshops at writers' conferences.  Her poems and short stories have been published in numerous national magazines and anthologies.  One of her poems was used in original compositions by the German composer Johannes Schmidt-Sistermans at the knitting factory in New York and for German radio.

Switched-on Gutenberg 
Thematic Contents / Vol. 3, No. 2 
Back / Forward