After Seeing the Rauschenberg Exhibit

Felice Aull

I will fashion a collage
of what you left, what I've saved.
Strewn across the canvas
3 x 5 index cards covered with
your lists of what to do
who to contact
maybe place some
in one of your shirt pockets
as you did, for ready access
Neckties I kept—
orderly prints, thick stripes
Cartoonish drawings
I found some mornings
when you left early
addressed to Wifo:
wavy lines floating above a mug
(coffee you'd set up for me)
a rectangle sprouting music notes
(the radio you'd left on low)
Pages I'll tear
out of your notebooks—
lined paper teeming
with handwritten thoughts
Then add the baseball cap
we bought at Hyde Park
pink lettering on blue canvas:
The way to begin is to begin
Eleanor's motto, and yours.
That's enough for one canvas
but I'm not finished.

Felice Aull is pleased to be published in riverbabble again. She started writing poetry in her 60s. Her full collection, Mandatory Evacuation Zone (2017) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Manhattan and is adjunct faculty in the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU School of Medicine where she was on the full-time faculty for many years. She reviews poetry for Bellevue Literary Review, is on the advisory board for that journal, and is contributing editor to the journal Literature and Medicine.

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