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As I Pass
Joanne Sharp | Umatilla Street

Oil on canvas 12x16.
Painting Joanne Sharp.

Spring flips open, perfuming the streets
with diesel and freesias. Fog’s salty breath
blows rolls of mist up and over from the
surf below, hangs them in the treetops.
Wind ruffles leaves tightly closed too long.
Potholes blink wet eyes. Trucks at lunch,
doors wide, lean against a flowery canvas—
white, yellow, pink, red, purple, orange, blue
(How would you say that in Spanish?)
Power tools and insects whine and buzz,
aluminum ladders scrape a waltz
and crows ack-ack in counterpoint to
phone pole transformers’ soft mutterings.
A lemon gum’s spiced scent blooms in my nose
(Or is that someone’s dryer sheets?)
Against the neon banks of blossoms
a round-eyed Siamese poses, statuesque
in cream and tan, bluely watching—
doesn’t twitch a whisker as I pass.



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