A reproduction of Van Gogh,
Of his Café Terrace at Night.
It was held in a plastic frame
That was a little bit too large,
Mass-produced, with a cardboard back,
Black plastic rails that held the sides,
A clear plastic sheet for the glass,
A white paper blank for the back.
And there it hung for several years,
The rich colors, even in print,
Of the Café Terrace at Night.
One afternoon, the bottom rail
Succumbed to something, some gathered
Gravity and slippage, and fell
From the bottom of the plastic,
And then the whole poster slid out.
The girl in the room didn’t know
What to do with this disaster,
So she slid the paper poster
Of the Café Terrace at Night
Under the bed, leaving the frame
To hang on the wall by itself.
Over the months, another rail,
And then another, slipped away
To clatter on the floor and be
Kicked under the bed with the art,
But the cardboard and white paper
Backing still hung there, a blank
Rectangle refusing to fall.