Madonna and Child Redux

John Grey

museum promises to be dull,
you’ll be hours

with the Virgin Mary
and her offspring

a thousand artists
with unpronounceable names

all imagining the same thing,
all dabbling in the same illusion;

after a while, you’re caught up in
the improvements you could make:

a moustache for the woman,
a split lip for the child,

maybe a new scrawl for a signature,
Gumby or Kilroy or Normal Rockwell;

meanwhile, your lover is in awe
of the beauty, the reverence,

and, more than that, she believes;
relationship promises to be chill,

you’ll be years in that museum

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