Washington College's Student Literary and Arts Journal

A Scenic Painter Steps Outside

If you sit and stare at a wall,
maybe hoping it will move,
first you notice how many colors
are contained in the red of the bricks

in dry-brushed variations of
burnt and raw sienna,
raw and burnt umber,
creating patterns that ripple and move

changing in the high noon sun.
The longer you stare at the wall
the more you come to realize
they are really all the same

color, contour, and composition.
The clear cut lines of mortar
stem across the wall in beige veins,
pencil lines hastily traced

between the stamped on bricks
from sponges dripping with reds.
The longer you look at this wall
the more you begin to wonder

if it wasn’t painted onto another wall.
even splashes of color spatter the bricks
as if a painted hip brushed across
or a brush from up high

couldn’t keep the paint in its bristles.
You can’t help but walk up
and touch it, make sure it is real.
Lay your face to the brick and feel the heat

of the manmade stone
erect and meant to daunt,
a big stick made of brick.
Look across with your cheek to the grit

see the lines expand
and lengthen to your eyes
look up and see the arrows
pointing to the blue sky

hidden behind the corner.
The stairs formed of brick
to that cloud country
where the robin and bluejay

sit on cloud nine, tails turned up,
discuss politics of the wall beneath them,
whistle through toothy grins
and quaffed plumage.

The stains of the brick remind you
of spotting, the rusty red of new blood
that disrupts the other colors.
You spot a spider sneaking between cracks

and the longer you stare at the wall
the more you begin to wonder
if he could find his way through
the maze of red and blue bricks.

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