HIGHLY COMMENDED: PATTIE PALMER-BAKER
with THE SKIN OF HER EYELIDS

Pattie lives in Portland, Oregon. She says: ‘All my life I have loved words, so much so that, after many years of classes and experimentation, I evolved a visual artwork style that combined my poetry in calligraphic form with collages of paste paper. Over the years of exhibiting my art I discovered – to my delight and surprise – that most people, despite what they may believe, like visual art. I now give equal time (sometimes more) to writing.

The Skin of Her Eyelids

Forever sadness
storms her eyes
after he dies,
her husband,
my father.
Those eyes remember
him dead
at the motel
not
of natural causes.
Pain burrs her voice
when she speaks
to me,
to my sister.
She thinks
she did not love
us enough,
him enough.
He is the one
who did not love enough.
He sloughed
his body
through a membrane
thinner
than the skin
of her eyelids
and pushed his heart
where love
is blind
love is deadlocked.
Before she left
her body,
her skin turned
gold and thin
like an autumn leaf
about to float
down
or away
or somewhere,
maybe where
she is now
where
I want to be
if only the autumn sun
would burn
my skin gold.