There’s this paint-by-number,
large and imposing, that my husband
bought from an antique dealer
because he collects such things
that are pastoral.
It has hung on my side of
our bedroom for years—
a petrified portrayal of a stream and barn
among the trees—
so I see it every morning and every night,
first and last window I look through.
Sometimes I am sure it is of a farm
in autumn, the leaves turning and falling
into a brook that winds past
and other times I think it is spring,
when the brook babbles with the
runoff of a long winter cooped up
below marcescent trees.
The canvas is sagging at the top,
pulling from the frame, so that
the image seems swept up
in cataclysmic waves, roiling
as I pull myself erect each morning
and lay myself down at the end.