Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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After Andrew Wyeth’s 1942 painting ‘Pennsylvania Landscape’

February 27, 2021

Leslie Bustard


It always seems to happen.


I find myself left behind,

too slow for those I’ve come with.

I want to pay attention to too many paintings

for one lazy Saturday outing.


But then, I couldn’t escape Pennsylvania Landscape

taken in by the familiar curve of the land

and the quiet of the farmhouse. 

Filling up the foreground,

the sycamore seemed to reach out,


pulling me in.


I slowly traced all the white and brown bare limbs with my eyes,

hoping each branch was its own self,

and wondering at the artist’s patience

to make the limbs attached to other ones.

My eyes scan the gray-white sky

brooding close behind the crisscrossed boughs.


If I could walk down the hill to the house,

would I find a door unlocked

and a light left on?


For the land is at rest,

and the old winter sycamore

with its peeling bark


is still waiting.

The featured image is Andrew Wyeth’s 1942 painting “Pennsylvania Landscape”, maintained at the Brandywine River Museum.


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  1. Annie Nardone says:

    I am always the person who closes the museum down and is chased out by the guards. Perfectly beautiful poem that resonates with my heart.

  2. Terri Moon says:

    Your poem is so gorgeous, Leslie. It makes that tree come alive with personality, I can almost feel it’s breathing. I think there is a light on in the house; you’ve made me imagine a Pennsylvania Dutch woman there tending a fire and making apple dumplings. we should stop in for tea!

  3. Bruce Herman says:

    Love this, sister.

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