She wakes to squalor,
A smell of burnt coffee,
And a baby crying next door.
She has a cold, or at least,
She hopes it’s a cold:
She can’t afford anything worse.
On the way to work,
She sees people staring at their phones,
Walking dogs, yelling at drivers,
Waving to friends. She passes by
The bakery, with its long line,
To go to a little place where a cup of coffee
Is only 75 cents.
It’s by a little art shop,
And she loves the paintings they are
Showing in the window now:
Abstract, bright, cheerful,
And nothing at all like anything she sees at work
Or at home.
At a time and in a place
Where she tries her hardest not to feel,
These paintings make her feel —
But in a good way.
She does not know the artist —
Young or old, male or female —
But she knows she’d like to say “thank you”
To whomever it is.
(Assumption: “Good art reflects real life.”)