The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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Pictures at an Exhibition

It was not easy looking at the paintings
Depicting the important moments of his life
All lovingly framed by their creator,
And not choking on my drink.
Even from behind,
Talking with others,
He had that diffident and glowing
Manner dilettantes often have,
Knowing they’re contributing something
Important to the history of art.
Studying his back,
I searched for clues that would help me
Flatter whatever illusions he had about himself—
To dampen down the embarrassment
When we finally met.
I couldn’t believe he didn’t understand
How bad his work was.
But then he turned to face me,
And with growing shock I see
That that hopeless amateur is me.