An Island in a Landlocked State

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

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