Eight lost, some stillborn
Others born, still lost
Sons and daughters of Willow
One remains or so we believe
Alpha and the in-between-ones
Are all gone
Our deposit has not been sent
Hope is a currency all its very own

We are uncovering poetry
It’s what remains now
Well into her eighties
Grief grinds its way through
Those of us remaining
She deposited words
Like shiny gold coins
Into the safest of places
Poetry, her currency

Page after aging, age-less page
Reveal what Agnes’ life did not
To me

Distance and years
Wedges like a bank vault wall
Kept me at bay

She never knew that mother penned
“For Elizabeth our aspiring poet”
On the inside of Oliver’s “Evidence”

Surprise would have attended us both
That pens are passed into spheres of
The unknown

And just after we grieved for a good long while
The gone-ness grew
The no-going-back-ness
The place where the mind comes back from a long hiatus into dementia
Just to hear “I loved you”
And now
Your poetry

Omega was the last
Black English Cocker puppy
Born alive
In Oklahoma

A sign that one of nine
For us
A sign of hope
At eight weeks
Omega, should she live
(Meg for short)
Comes to live with us
Eight others rest in peace

Epiphanies born from death
Poetic embalming of her secrets
Now shared
Beauty birthed on every page
Life revealed in death

I cannot crown my favorite line of hers
(It may take a lifetime of catching up to dog-ear my favorite page)
Alpha and omega
And poetry in the in-between’s
She rests in peace
I wrestle with regret and grief

She wrestled with life
And turned it into poetry





art one

We wove around the Old Ragsdale Building

Among and in

And like ants on the way to the fried chicken from The Pig at a picnic

We were searching for

Around a million different ways to see a world.

Hanging displayed sitting displayed  whispering shouting

Every piece at a different pitch

Perfect for its medium.

But I was there for Agnes . And I was there for Agnes’ child.

A life can take up a whole back wall of a tobacco building in its telling,

And still leave out whole parts. How many panels does it take to capture fully

Close to ninety years.

Like a camera, painter artist daughter friend

Makes permanent a life.

Elegance and wit wind around the strokes  color, pigmentation teaches in tones of peach.

Stand back and breathe in, a girl becomes a wise matriarch

Just paces down the old brick sits

An anteater eating of all things a colony of gigantic ants beside voter registration.

This is Artfields and this is what they do, documentarians of our lives,

One studied nine breasts,  documenting differences.

But I was there for Agnes and  “All The In  Between.”

To  see a hundred ways to see a world,


But driving all this way to know the love of one,

Daughter for her dying mom.

Agnes would laugh at her juxtaposition of a life,

So close to

Well an anteater. And I know because I know

The Artist.

And the ways she sees all the in between,

The panels of a life.


To discover more of my friend and her work, visit lauriemcintoshstudio dot com. And pick up her book Agnes’ life “All The In Between – My Story of Agnes” (Amazon, Barnes and Noble and at )