The House with the Cracked Walls
The abandoned house is gradually falling down, the great fissure down its side, tiles from the roof tumbled onto the ground. Under the oppressive blue sky, the house exudes a sense of loneliness and isolation, perhaps not inappropriate for this artist who preferred to work by himself, far from his colleagues. - Metropolitan Museum of Art engagement calendar
Paul Cézanne, is that what you were thinking
When you painted
This house with cracked walls?
That’s not what I saw
When I turned the page of my calendar Sunday morning
I’ve studied your work for six days now
I know I understand what you meant.
People have their good points
But living with them can be exhausting
Especially when it’s your responsibility
To shelter them from harm
Your obligation to provide endless comfort
Your duty to place their needs above your own
To always feign joy at their return for decades
When you’d really prefer to be alone.
Your light sapphire sky is joyful
The trees are lush
Blue-green, jade, and sage
The hilltop house’s single window
Sees the truth of all things
An eye still clear, sharp, and black.
The splits that snake
From the deserted dwelling’s red roof
Through its yellow walls
Down to its foundation in the rocks
Its burden gone
The emancipated home is relaxing
Relishing mountain air
And cracking a huge smile.
Sheila Wellehan is a poet who lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Her work has appeared or will appear soon in Chiron Review, Poetry East, Rat's Ass Review, and Yellow Chair Review.
The Ekphrastic Review
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