Fine Arts

Allison Adair


The day after we say we don’t know
each other or ourselves I drive our small daughter
to the museum, to White Rose with Larkspur
No. 2
. O’Keeffe haunts the canvas, a desert
shaped by wind. Her fingers twist along
a wood brush, as an arthritic pinyon            
drills into or against layers of red stone and we
don’t speak. Our daughter’s brow resists this argument
for the hidden spectrum in white—we’ve taught her
cat from bird, engine from wheel. But here the petals open
to disclose their secret green, their yellow
blue pink gray. She is learning roots
can be branches can be shadows or hands
twining a woman’s hair
depending on the light.


Allison Adair is originally from central Pennsylvania and now lives in Boston, where she teaches at Boston College and Grub Street. Her recent work appears in The American Poetry Review, Best New Poets, Boston Review, The Greensboro Review, The Missouri Review, Subtropics, and Third Coast, among other journals, and one of her poems is forthcoming in this year’s Best American Poetry anthology.