At the barn sale the artist’s widow
Was closing down this part of her life,
Selling out the residue of daily living
And a few remaindered artifacts of her husband’s craft.
I’m sorry, I said.
It was a blessing, he had suffered.
Was there a brochure, I asked, about his work?
Only a business card:
Armand Bouteau Gallery, it said,
And below that:
Authorized agent, Farm Pride Tractors.
I bought a small canvas, a seascape,
Somewhere on the coast of Maine,
A place he’d been once.
Of its merit, or excellence of composition,
Its verisimilitude,
I did not know, I did not want to know.

Previously published in Louisville Review.

Robert Demaree, a retired educator, is the author of four collections, including Mileposts (2009), published by Beech River Books. He has had over 550 poems published in 125 periodicals. Robert’s “At The Laundry” and “Pick Your Own” are also in Reprint.

Object(s) to bring back to life: “These functions are now performed by something that fits in the palm of your hand, but I still miss the jukeboxes in those 1950’s restaurants we went to after school—the ones in the booths with the pages that turned, but also the grand Wurlitzer, lights bubbling, that magically moved into place those great hits by Patti Page, The Platters, The Righteous Brothers. I also miss my daughter’s gigantic NCR desktop computer—must have weighed 60 pounds—that I hauled up five flights of stairs in the freshman dorm, in the fall of 1984.”