They said you wanted a job while you were in town,
You could write, paint, and sculpt as your customer pleased;
I want you to come over to my studio and take a look at me,
And paint me a picture on the basis of what you see.
I don’t want a masterpiece on a big snowy while canvas,
Just a daub or two will be good enough for me;
Use a bit of blood red for my tired eyes,
As I sit motionless for you to paint me a picture.
So intensely you gaze at me painter man,
I would like to know what you found good to paint;
Can you see the wrinkles near my mouth?
Can you see the shine which has disappeared from my eyes?
You are an industrious boy painter from the west,
And I like the way the painting is coming through;
I like the way you have caught the dimple in my smile,
It is my only physical inheritance of my grandmother long dead.
Now you wish to paint out my emotions upon the picture,
But will you ever glean the feelings passing through me?
About happiness in a school boy’s gaze so tender to me,
About pain mingled with the smudges of my tears.
Now why do you stop your action?
Look at me and continue to paint what you see;
I’ve got a lot of work at hand dear boy,
So don’t waste my time just finish off my portrait and then leave.
Now you are getting too personal with your questions,
About why I’m so unkempt and so stout;
If only you knew the real face behind this mask,
A face hiding from the world its sadness and disgrace.
No I don’t want to talk about love anymore,
No I never have kissed a boy;
Stop all these questions and paint right on and on,
Look at me and paint what you can see.
Don’t forget to catch the dark circles below my eyes painter boy,
And my short fingers covered with many colorful rings;
Don’t part my lips or ink them bright pink just leave them as they are,
Finish your picture dear youthful painter for me.
The picture has come out pretty good,
So here is your money and a tip for the trouble;
Don’t ask me when I will see you again,
Forget me like some of your old paintings in your garage in your land.
You wish to kiss my hand so I allow it,
Then you swiftly sign your name on my portrait;
You are waving a goodbye as I hold the picture in my arms,
The picture you dear painter painted for me.
Copyright ©2016 Fiza Pathan
Jack Flacco says
“I like the way you have caught the dimple in my smile” — Beautiful phrase. Very visual and very warm!