A Poem: Art

At the end of the day
you take all you didn’t do,
all that didn’t come to pass,
all your hopes and fears,

the small assaults and invasions
of the day,
everything that took from you
your peace –

and you melt it down.

You roll it into a cigarette
and make it flame.
You write it that it loses all its power
to haunt,
to visit in the night.

And you lay it on your pillow
as wetness from tears,
that in the morning will have dried,
disappeared.

At the end of the day
you become the artist,
the conjurer of tomorrow,
the celebrant that in every bed of ashes
looks for the good.

You take the canvas
and your steady brush,
and make a nightly ritual of
forgiveness,
least of all for yourself,
for all that you could not set right.

And in the morning
when the rising sun
causes the day to open,
all blue and softest pink,
there will be a residue,

a mix of paint to start,
all melded into colours
made fresh from yesterday’s demise.

Yes, at the end of each day
you take all that you didn’t do,
and all that didn’t come to pass,
all that left your soul in shards,
affronted –

and make tomorrow with your art.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
February 2021


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