Afternoon Overshare

Roberta Beary

The tea is steeping, and April almost gone.
Snow edges the saintly head of Patrick’s Mountain.
No, I haven’t climbed it yet. No time.
My hands are shaking, my husband says it’s nothing.

The summer I got breasts, I’d subway crush from Queens
arms crossed till 5th & 53rd, till MoMA, the museum.
I spent long hours with Kokoschka’s couple.
My hands are shaking, my husband says it’s nothing.

Do you know the painting?
They sit apart, fingers almost touching.
She wears a purple dress, his suit is brown.
Yes, we have two children, grown and gone.
My hands are shaking, my husband says it’s nothing.

Can you stay? I’ll pour. Unless you will?
My hands are shaking, my husband says it’s nothing.
Yes, of course, he’ll drive you back to town.
He’ll be here soon. Unless a patient needs him.
My hands are shaking, my husband says it’s nothing.


view painting here: https://www.moma.org/collection/works/80190

Oskar Kokoschka
Hans Tietze and Erica Tietze-Conrat
1909

Roberta Beary writes to connect with the disenfranchised, to let them know they are not alone. Author of two award-winning poetry collections, The Unworn Necklace and Deflection, their third collection, Carousel, won the Snapshot Press Book Award and will be published in 2022. They live in County Mayo, Ireland, where they recently collaborated on Notes from The Reluctant Engagement Project, which pairs their writing with artwork by families of people with disabilities.