What Should Be A Lamp

Plastic legs, painted, hang
on the wall of concrete
wet from the rain that the gutter
couldn’t catch.
One is orange
the other, a tired yellow.
They don’t hang together
not even making the attempt
to resemble the organized
form of a human body. No –
these are detached, separate.
They are meant to be.

Someone placed shoes
on the unnaturally
smooth feet: old white
Converse – not high-tops.
One foot, just one,
(the orange one,
if you care to know)
even dons a short sock
visibly dirty, yet
barely visible above
the ridge of the canvas.

What picture does this paint
for a passerby? Nothing much.

All they would wonder
is why the legs don’t
wear fishnet stockings.
Or maybe why there is no light
bulb, no black-tasseled lampshade atop
each alarming leg – that, at least
would provide some finality,
some sense, to the suggestively
sudden end: half way up the thigh
of that perturbed painted plastic.


Published in The Laurentian Magazine
Spring, 2013

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