Rust and paint

Annie Spratt photo

There’s a white-painted wall somewhere,

Turned blue in shadow-light;

And slipping through the crooked blinds,

The pale morning glimmer

Is all the art we can afford in that desolate space;

It reminds me of the gray, dried-out Queen Anne’s lace

All curled up small, fragile flowers becoming strong –

Tough beauty that even time cannot erase.

I watch as red leaves cling desperately to wire fences,

Perfect colour in a cruel mess of black and white.

And if you look closely, you’ll see

That even rust mixed with paint

Becomes a thing of inexplicable delight.

There’s something to be said for ugliness –

It changes you;

Without it, you can never be healed.

The crumbling soul-barriers hurt, I know

But how else can we understand freedom,

If we do not see from what it is

We have been set free?

~ Ilana Reimer


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