I stand alone

agaze at the portrait still wet of paint.

My vision blurs

and breathing becomes shallow.

I place my hand over my heart.

The light shifts in the room

as outside the earth turns

and the clouds block the light

of the dim gray day

from entering in through the solitary window

to the right of the easel.


I stare agaze at the portrait.


A mud-trodden path sloshed with the freshly fallen rain lies before me.

An earthen brown picket fence accents the road to the right;

a forest of tall, slim, barren trees decorates the left.

The sky is ominous

full of threatening gray clouds.

No rays of sun are able to penetrate through.


I stare agaze at the portrait.


A little girl hides her face from me

hidden behind a mask of brown locks

wavy with the burden of rain.

She is bent down into the earth

hands, knees, feet, all digging into the mud.

Her white dress is no longer pure and pristine,

but dingy and brown

and tattered and torn.

Her arms are scraped.


I stare agaze at the portrait.


Wondering of the little girl's sorrow,

the pain she must have been through,

her struggle.

My heart beats ferociously.

I long to sweep her into my arms

comfort her

tell her that it is safe

that life will get better.

The artist comes and stands beside me

wiping his paint-stained hands with a cloth.

We both look onward to the portrait.

The girl is so sad

I tell him

I want to help her

I continue

He turns to me and asks, "Why?"


"She has only slipped from running

and fallen into the mud".


I stare agaze.