Man with Picture Frame

By Michele Wolf Michele Wolf

      90th and Third, NYC

We almost missed him, although his face,
As blunt as a busy Picasso, all shifting
Planes, was wedged in a picture frame.  
We almost missed him, the way one can stop
Seeing hunched-over bodies along the street
Or a favorite picture above the sofa
In the living room, so familiar it seems
Invisible, until it has drifted askew
Or been removed.  "If only he had something
More contemporary," my companion offered.
The man in the frame extended his crushed
Paper coffee cup, fingers hugging its Greek
Pillars and statues, white and blue.
"Spare any change?" he asked.  I brought
Forth a quarter.  His eyes, brilliant, said
I am a masterpiece.  This is where I live. 

Published by permission of the author.

Source: Poetry (December 1993).


This poem originally appeared in the December 1993 issue of Poetry magazine

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December 1993
 Michele  Wolf


Poet, teacher, and editor Michele Wolf was raised in Miami, but has spent much of her life in New York City or just outside Washington D.C., in Maryland. She earned degrees from Boston University and Columbia University, and began to write poetry seriously after winning a scholarship in non-fiction to attend the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. There, Wolf says, she had a “transformative experience…it was the first time I was . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture, Social Commentaries, Class

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