In the time when what wasn’t wrecked
crumbled, I had a shed to paint,
and pots of paint—so small
beside the broad boards. I opened them
and made a liquid iris, a heron—in dawn
and dusk and sun one shed side brrred
with darning needles
among the reeds, another steadied
by the horned toads at the cacti’s base,
a third made rich in rolling
fields quilted with hedgerows. The fourth
was sky, all sky, the stars and sun,
birds whirling with planets and one
sharp bottle rocket.
They said, “It’s time
for war! Come on!” I looked at paint.
I looked at them. “Time to touch up,”
I said. “Paint!” they sneered. “It saves
the wood,” I said, and colored on. (Ants!
Moss! Bubbles! Bluets!)
It’s not that I don’t care about the strife, the bodies,
the causes. I have a side. It’s that I fight for what I love:
creating, showing, feeding, and a place to rest. More,
it is that paint is what I have.
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