Work of Art
Is it lop-sided, a little awry?
Or is the fault in your clouded, critical eye?
Maybe a slight adjustment
will hang the picture right.
The painter caught well his subject,
a street in a city in a hazy brown light.
That tram seems to be empty,
see the way it tilts to one side.
No one waits in the shelter
to step on board for a ride.
Further up, in the distance,
a black cat sits by a market stall.
That tower looks about to topple,
one brick less and it would fall.
It tempts you to pass into the canvas,
walk up the pavement,
see what’s in the shop windows.
Bound to be odd things,
besides your reflection.
Listen to your footsteps
echo down alleys, round corners.
Dare you go on with no real direction?
But, of course, you must.
It is only a painting,
and in art more than life you trust.
You enter a hotel, find a key to your room,
wonder what does it mean.
Sat alone in a cinema,
tears hurt your eyes,
for pictures from your life pass by on the screen.
Then your stomach reminds you that you have a body,
and you walk off to a café.
After coffee and sandwiches, you will feel better,
welling with the warmth of a smile, the light of a laugh.