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Red Bristles

By Lacey Buycks

He’s already finished

the piece, a gift for his

mother who burns for

the acrylic aroma,

the gritty paint her

thin hands run over.

The poet does not paint well,

when his fingers

are estranged to the

buoyancy of a brush.

His mind lingers too long

and the bristles

leave a ruby splotch

on the page.

On the canvas,

a dirt path leads

to a forest of pines.

To the poet though,

they look more like upside-

down broomsticks.

In the middle,

a fiery splatter covers

a boulder overtaken with

wisteria and sage.

He curses, overturns his chair

and puts a fist

through the canvas.

The red is gone,

a gaping hole in its place.

The poet takes a pencil

and on the back

he writes, “your son,”

he titles it, “Holy Hell.”


About the author:

Lacey Buycks is a writer and poet. Some of her work, including Red Bristles and Citrus Season, has been featured in Erato Magazine's first issue, Bloom.

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