A painting of me
by Trish Hopkinson
hung on the wall in her house
when I was young. She sent my portrait
to an address from the back of a magazine
with a money order for the specified amount.
A foreign artist recreated my infant image,
on canvas with oil paint and then returned it
to her. My chubby legs peeked out from
underneath the light blue calico dress
my mother made; the bonnet I wore matched.
One summer, when I returned to my grandmother’s
house, I asked if she still had the painting, the frame
needed repairing, so it no longer hung on her wall.
When she brought it down from the closet shelf
I was in awe of its size. It had seemed much larger,
seen by my toddler eyes. She offered it to me
and I took it home, planning to have it cleaned
and the frame repaired, for someday hanging
in my daughter’s room. When my grandmother was still
alive, I couldn’t afford to restore the painting,
but now that she’s gone, I can’t seem to take it
down from my own closet shelf.
IMAGE: Painting of the author as a baby.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “A painting of me” is based on a time when I traveled to my grandmother’s home in Missouri as an adult. I was her first grandchild and the only one she had painted. We moved away from her when I was 10 and my other siblings were all younger. I was really the only one who knew her well. I saw last saw my grandmother the summer before she passed away when I was pregnant with my daughter. I named my daughter after her. 🙂 Recently, I took the painting from the shelf to photograph it for this series. I think it might just be time to have it cleaned and framed to hang in my home—which was actually built in the same era that the painting was created. It now seems like the right time and a good fit.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Trish Hopkinson has always loved words—in fact, her mother tells everyone she was born with a pen in her hand. She has two chapbooks Emissions and Pieced Into Treetops and has been published in several anthologies and journals, including Stirring, Chagrin River Review, and The Found Poetry Review. Hopkinson is co-founder of a local poetry group,Rock Canyon Poets. She is a project manager by profession and resides in Utah with her handsome husband and their two outstanding children. You can follow her poetry adventures at trishhopkinson.com.