The Watermark

On a weather map, the blues
Drip down from Canada, sliding
Across lakes and filling empty valleys

In my house, where a portrait
Of an anonymous child hung -
She stood by a chair, watching

Whoever entered the room coldly.
She came from Puritan New England,
Where all the children are miniature

Adults and church steeples are dark
And serious as her tightly braided
Hair, buckled shoes and dried flowers.

She was always staring, but she
Did not see the drop of water
Above her left eyebrow, smoothing

Her forehead and staining her white
Skin with a fearsome navy - pushing
Her down, pressing on the glass.

I first noticed this when I was seven,
After my mother said too much aspirin
Would burn a hole through my stomach.