By Nancy Orans Eder

Sorry can’t make it.
Must break that date.
Going to London for art.
No, not the National,
Royal or Tate.

I’ve decided to go to London
After all
It’s my show.
In the middle of November,
To Beacon Hill I’ll go.

My sister has decided to display
Once more
Paintings in exhibition at her
faraway shore.

My room is a wreck,
My plans all awry.
Don’t know whether to laugh
Or to cry.
As I juggle
My grandchildren
Classes and dates
All in the air
Cancelling plans
Isn’t quite fair.

But acting quite bold
Life is for travel
Even in the cold
of November — damp and dreary.
Though thinking about going
Makes me a bit weary.

Winter’s for warm weather
Miami vs. London
was the big divide
But I’ve now booked the flight
Put British pounds aside,

Though the sale itself
Might not pay for the flight
It will be lots of work
but also delight
to see my paintings
in colors blue and bright
To share seashore sights
In gouache
And in pen
I will go
And see them. . .
I will live it again.

The thrill of sharing
My summers in Ceret
Will be worth the time change–
lack of sleep,
seven hours in space–
to once more peep
at the paintings
my sister has deemed
appealing to show
to friends
who traveled to
Ceret in summer and snow.

And won’t she be happy
and surprised to
see me there as well?
Shall I tell her or shock her . . .?

I imagine her face astounded
as she opens the door
to see me standing,
there with suitcase
stepping onto her floor.

Shocking as well.
Maybe too much
A risk to tell no one I’m coming
Would need to be taken–
But I might be mistaken
for what if she were out shopping?
I’d have to give a shout to
Let me in and no one would answer.

A chance far too risky from a distant star,
I’ll tell them I’m coming
It will be better by far.

The surprise is not fun
If the price is too dear,
So I’ll call to say
I’m coming to see
the pictures and the family there.

She’s made the arrangements
We’ll cater for sure
With olives and cheese
Spinach pastries to please
Chips and dips
French wine flowing to tease
Those buyers of art
Who want memories of France,
I sure hope somebody buys one. . . .
Two or three per chance.

But if it’s a flop
If nobody buys,
That’s a nice risk to have taken
To make a spontaneous visit —
A destination worth the price of the ticket.

I know I shall relish
The trip on its own,
So London get ready
It’s now written in stone.


Tagged , ,

3 thoughts on “Surprise!

  1. rikleen says:

    Witty, fun, AND in rhyme AND with a very pleasing image. I love it! I love the colors the balance the subject the shapes. So pleasing. R

  2. Anonymous says:

    Love it, Mom. And I love knowing that your positive attitude about the then upcoming trip was eventually rewarded with a very successful show where you sold well more than one (or two or three).

  3. Ellen says:

    As the sister in question, I must say, surprise or not, it made the day! The artist flew in just for 5 days; everyone was excited in different ways. And now I await the chance to reverse the direction, to pop in to New York to see the selection of beautiful paintings that continue to please, in France or in England, and across the seas. We now need to share all the fun and delight of seeing some paintings in the New York light.

    So, my dear sister, you set the day, and I’ll try to be there, if there’s any way!

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