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The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

Standing in Line for the Sistine Chapel

Outside the wall I chew gum,
enjoy the cool touch of morning air.
In a line of humanity
I watch cars, bicycles,
the people of Rome going to work.
They look like my neighbors.
It is fun to be free of tasks,
things I must do,
to contemplate Adam touching God.

For all the glory inside,
I love this Roman street,
its black shutters,
the sound of voices,
children going to school.

What would Michelangelo say?
Give me a brush, Ted?
Give me paint to color faces?
I want some gum.
The women are beautiful,
the children are flowers.
Never again will I imprison
birds on a ceiling,
put God in the shadows,
have angels look longingly at the door.
Perhaps, perhaps.

The gray wall outside the Vatican
has little flowers in it,
avalanches of dust.
The people talk of the news,
where they come from,
and I watch people pass,
another tableau for the artist.
in the twenty-first century of eternity.
And I am content to see nothing else.
To be alive,
with Michelangelo whispering
in my ear.

Published inIndex of all Poems