The Scream

The Scream

( Lines on the life and works of Edvard Munch, born 12th December 1863, died 23rd January 1944 )

Your sick sister.
The doctor left her.
Tuberculosis, his diagnosis.
You knew, however.
It wrenched from you your mother
when you were younger.
Stiff on her chair
with her dropped head.
World to ignore her.
Your sick sister,
her irises red,
her head heavy on the pillow.
Hectic lines on the walls.
Daylight too bright, had to curtain the window.
What else could you do
but work with your tools,
the craft of the painter?
Her face strokes of pale white on the canvas,
her clothes black smudges.
The room bare, no life could be lived there.
The death of your mother,
your sister, your father,
the death of your own life
that waited ahead.
Your study of dancers,
both living and dead.
You painted the skull headed phantom,
its mouth torn wide open,
hands too thin to give its ears shelter,
tortured by the scream
that cut through the cold bones,
the dried veins of nature.


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