• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 04

Beautiful (for M.O.)

My friend is petite, intelligent, energetic, beautiful,
with glowing skin and sparkling brown eyes.
She is an artist, a painter, a maker of beautiful
and sometimes peaceful, sometimes menacing,
or variously sad, happy, symbolic or personal
paintings and installations, which have been shown
in solo or group exhibitions in Australia, Japan, Spain –
and yet because of the spite of one teacher, carelessness
of another, and perhaps the good old Australian custom
of jobs for the boys, she did not win the scholarship
she needed to practise art full-time. So she works.
Hard jobs, where perhaps she’s worked 14 hours,
travelled 2 hours, had only 4 hours sleep before
starting again, and nevertheless must always smile.
Or does hard study, gets another hard job, bullied by a boss,
while she’s caring for others. And who will care for her?
She doesn’t complain. She hides her pain, behind a beautiful
screen of smiles and politeness, gardens and paintings
she will continue to do whenever she can, when
she’s not too exhausted from spending her life
standing on her head with a beautiful smile.