Art Valuation by Wistful Writer

Echoes of clacking heels reflect
Off the walls and into my hollow head.
The hard bench under my haunches
Had made my feet go cold
And I take on a chill,
Though the carved frame that grasps the painting is beautiful,
Rich, like the people who live in the high-rises outside,
Ornate, like the furniture that populates their fancy homes
Carved, like the stony facades that look down upon the pedestrian.
Splats of costly oil paint appear on the fine canvas,
A formless smattering of color and shapes
That don’t come together.
I stare,
Stare, and stare, until I yawn.
I lean back, put my palms behind me
Upon the squat thick-legged bench
And relax my stocky self for a moment.
My fingers graze the smooth polished surface
Warm from someone else’s haunches
And I wonder
How many decades has this bench never moved, never left
How many students’ legs have numbed over it
How many tired mothers has it given its reprieve
How many finger nubs were worn
How many mouths were fed
In the creation of this husky bench
That kneels humbly below
Yet stands proudly above
The paintings that go
When it remains,
Who has seen and felt more
Serving the masses for years
Than the paintings that pass through these echoing walls
In mere months.
A willowy woman, long in limb and hair
With skinny spangled arms wrapped around her torso
Swathed in designer folds of cotton
She sees something that I do not,
Looks down her upturned aquiline nose
Purses her thin lips and stretches her dry mouth in an approving line
Nods and tilts her head
As if she knew something that I did not.
But it was her who did not know.
What could she know,
In her pointy heels and fancy clutch
Rich, like her family
Ornate, like her furniture in her uptown home
Carved, like her trainer in her upscale gym.
I am with the bench.

A poem that was very well-received in my creative writing class.