I get paid well for this job

I get paid well for this job 

of looking after art objects

that don’t breathe, don’t complain,

don’t have wet eyes, or the fear of eternity

that don’t need to be consoled,

and don’t need to be told an answer

as to why no one has visited them today.

The paintings don’t want to run away.

The sculptures don’t need to be washed 

every other day.

You don’t have to assure the photograph

of the woman that she looks good.

You don’t have to brush her hair,

clip her toenails, or stroke her hand. 

And when art leaves the building 

there’s no sadness,

there’s no need to explain to anyone 

what happened.

There are no terrible conversations 

with people who want to know why,

who want a reason. 

You don’t have to know much

looking after art,

just about any answer will do. 

I get paid well 

for making sure art

is seen in the best light. 

It’s important

that we know art is being cared for,

that it’s appreciated.

And is there
anything wrong with that?

Published in 4th Floor Literary Journal, 2013.