Mercedes Lawry





The painters of Italy come forward,
waving their brushes, spilling red
and gold, hungry for lunch.
Iím terrified , simply ó I donít cook.
I can barely uncork the wine
and settle the glasses on the white cloth.
I beg their forgiveness but they only laugh.
The tall one stands on a chair and starts a blue swathe
on the ceiling. The quiet one moves to the wall.
Soon, all around, theyíre painting ó
the door, the windows, alcoves, painting
a feast, sumptuous, served by angels.

When the shadows pass the church,
the painters of Italy gather up their things
and leave. Itís so warm now.
The pigeons are sleeping on the roof.
Flakes of paint cover my hands,
the tables, hover like dust in a shard of light.
My head drifts onto my folded arms
as I close my eyes and hear the dry rustle of wings.


Copyright © 2004 Mercedes Lawry.  All Rights Reserved.


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