What the Dead Remember by Maj Ragain
A Companion Poem to Jessica Damen’s Painting Say Cheese
Say persimmon, say parson,
No smiles for the camera,
that dark room, its blink of light.
Say purse, cargo of those lost years.
I am on the right, bare midriff,
cherry blossom pink, new skin
stretched over the drumhead,
a forest of knees,
Barbara to the left,
Sharon between us.
No one remembers my name,
I have forgotten it,
broken letters in my mouth.
Wherever you are, reading this,
I grew up not far from you,
though I can no longer recall
the street or the town.
There were no trees.
A dirt path led down to a dry creek bed. Follow the creek north to a grass field rowed with stones.
My name is written on a flat, polished stone.
I cannot find read it.
Say it for me.
- Maj Ragain
This poem was written by Maj Ragain in response to my painting "Say Cheese".
"Say Cheese" has been featured in the following exhibitions:
2004 Vision to Verse - Verse to Vision: A Visual and Poetic Dialogue with
poet Maj Ragain, Verde Gallery, Champaign, Illinois
2002 • Through Children’s Eyes, Hudson D. Walker Gallery, Fine Arts Work Center (FAWC), Provincetown, MA
2002 Art Maryland 2002, Howard County Center of the Arts Juror: Jay Fisher, Deputy
Director of Curatorial Affairs, and Baltimore Museum of Art