The painting hanging on the wall was unwelcoming
and venerable with its twirling winds
above the seaside
as the thunder rumbled in the oil.
The storm mounted above the tropical scene
makes me feel small, useless,
a flea in a flea market,
escaping the harsh crescendo of noise.
The mulberries and mandarins do not belong together,
they have been stolen
from their homes
and left to ferment in the sand.
I used to blush at the smell of the turpentine oil
wafting from the canvas
into my eyes,
now I just smile and wait for my doctor in abject terror.
Emma Gail Compton