All paintings by Betty Peterson. Click on photos of paintings to enlarge. The reflection of my hands superimposed over the hand in her painting was purely accidental, but I love the implication of our work being combined in this piece. R.I.P. Betty, friend of twenty years. The one sketch and watercolor of me was done in a small bar/restaurant in Tequila as we were waiting for my broken-down van to be fixed on our way to the U.S. The other painting of me she gave to me as a surprise, using a photo I had in my blog. She added Morrie, not realizing this was a photo of me in my wedding dress in 1987. Love how Morrie was suddenly transported back in time.
Conversing with Betty
You are the first person I see every morning—
there on my wall and hanging from my curtain rods––
your heart and talent painted onto watercolor paper,
matted, framed and preserved under glass.
Your freed spirit spreads out into my room like memory––
the sorties to find pre-Columbian treasures,
van breakdowns on the road to Tequila and road trips to the border,
shared secrets, successes and heartbreaks.
My friend, your life expired while mine still runs its course,
but you have left the women you gave birth to
behind you on paper and on canvas.
Their eyes follow me upon my rising, look over me in my sleep.
In them, I retain the best of you
here in my heart and on my walls,
grateful to have you still around me,
conversing in our favorite language.