A LASTING THING

 

When she was young she'd tried to make

A lasting thing,

Painting it upon the wall in the public square

Where all could see the wonder of her work.

And they saw, murmuring,

"How beautiful!" as she smiled,

Hearing their approbations with eager ear.

"Yes," she said, "it is a lasting thing,

A thing of beauty that all can see

Across the timeless years.

And she was satisfied...and left.

 

The decades of the passing days

Rolled their way across the public square

While she was gone,

Thinking that her lasting thing was as it was.

And when her hair was white

She returned,

Standing with the sunshine at her back,

Looking once again upon her work,

Seeing how the plaster had fallen so away,

The peeling curls of paint

Marring here and there.

"No," she said, "it was not a lasting thing,

A thing of beauty that all can see

Across the timeless years."

And she was dissatisfied...and left.

 

A decade more and she lay upon her dying bed,

Watching with the fading of her sight

A grandchild painting with her colors

On the far side of the room,

The blonde head shining in the sunshine at her back.

And as the dimness gathered

She looked upon her work,

The child who wanted very much to be

Just like her

For reasons having much to do with love.

"Yes," she said, "it is a lasting thing,

A thing of beauty that all can see

Across the timeless years."

And she was satisfied...and left.

 

 

Jo Anzalone   Feb. 17, 2007

 

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