Private View

Selima Hill

I am the wife of the man who won first prize.
I am not wearing my new shoes
which, though smarter,
are not as comfortable as these.
I must stand well.
‘He’s a very sensitive guy.
I’d really like to meet him.’
‘Yes, he’s obviously been through a lot ...’

Because the paint is spread so thick
the paintings look like toast.
Shoals of visitors move in and out of the exhibits.
My daughter won’t shake hands.

Outside in the garden,
a foxglove calmly leans into the trunk
of a tall, sanded plane tree.
The evening sky is pale and magnificent.

Someone comes out onto the steps
and calls back ‘I’m going.’
He plunges into the cool air like a diver.
Shaking his head, he looks at me
and smiles. He doesn’t know
I am the wife of the man who won first prize.