Hallway Painting

Poets/Artists, Issue #29

For days I looked at it outside my hospital room,
screwed on the wall:
a group of amber trees waved in the northwest wind,
stretching themselves into a swirl
of ivory intention.

If I had been high on mushrooms, or a paper square,
I would have thought the trees were people
being pulled skyward like rubber stakes
into the torque of a tornado or hurricane,
with the eye patiently black, dark, listlessly silent.

But I was not high. There was no hurricane.
The trees were being whisked into some other world,
which eased them from their groundings
and brought them through
the tunnel of time.

When I was able
to hobble out into the hallway, I discovered
my own treachery: the trees were just the outermost petal of a flower,
the black center of the tunnel simply a landing pad
for a passing butterfly.

Hallway Painting

Close-up of the painting hanging on the hospital wall