To Paint July
The month of his death, Vincent van Gogh painted “Wheatfield under Thunder Clouds,” “Wheatfields at Auvers under Clouded Sky,” “Wheatfield with Crows.”
In 1890 Vincent wanted to paint July,
and so, we see her now
as she stood then—dressed in
wheatfields of gold under crows,
under thunder, wrapped in
cloud-shine. Wheat swept and wet,
standing high as sky reaching sky, as hope
full grown and the incarnation of light
made sustenance, the daily bread
of nourishment, whispering in wind, This is
my body, broken, tilled and filled be-fore you.
This is the braid of every music
coursing through Mother Earth’s umbilical chorus—
the sun’s brilliance
brought to fruition through the friction of seasons.
This is the living bread kneaded and risen
to the height of hallelujah:
July, in her dance of chemistry, in her sacred
accessibility, stood open-armed. July, in her
thunder of wanting, in her clouded
division, in her crow-wings laying out her treasures—
unboxed, unvexed, unhurried augustness.
He wanted to paint July, and she stood
before him, bare
Amanda Russell is an editor at The Comstock Review and a stay-at-home mom. Her poems are forthcoming or have appeared in Walt’s Corner, EcoTheo Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, and the anthology mightier: poets for social justice. To learn more about her or her chapbook, Barren Years, please visit https://poetrussell.wordpress.com/.