The Artist
by Haleigh Swansen

I sit in awe behind the Artist, clad in a greasy smock,
Peering over His great shoulder for a glimpse of His easel
My eyes flit hungrily from tip to base of each stolid, ominous mountain
And when they finally lock on the river slicing through the valley, I'm speechless.
I want to plunge into the foamy froth, laugh with it, dance with it.
I have to force my eyes away,
And when they reach the blank canvas at the top,
My brow furrowing in confusion,
The Artist laughs, as if He knows what I'm thinking.
The bristles of His brush kiss the emptiness, flooding it with majestic sunset.
Then He cranes His neck to see My canvas.
I rush to hide it, but I know He's already seen
The barrenness, the lack of brilliance, the wasted paper
And I, His student, am ashamed.
He smiles, so patient, so understanding,
Places the brush between my fingers,
And wraps His giant, warm hand around my clammy one
"Don't be afraid," He coaxes, so gentle, so kind, "I'll show you how"
And we paint a masterpiece
Together.

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Poem Copyright 2009 by Haleigh Swansen

 

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