Poems of the Week

Hard Lines

by Julia Griffin

For Sophie

“A Piet Mondrian painting has been hanging upside-down for decades, art historian says”

Poor Mondrian! This really is the end.
All these long years Fate’s chosen to abuse
Viewers, who rarely question as they ought:
Those tracks—white, yellow, blue, black, red—have caught
The experts napping. What does this portend?
We understand, perhaps, though can’t excuse

Hope that some others will be blamed. But who?
The shamed curators, caught now on the hop,
Hung upside down in universal sight (!)
That grid—red, black, blue, yellow, over white—
It may be hard to credit, but it’s true:
We’re prone to miss which line goes at the top.