[Steve Lewis]

ART ON THE OTHER SIDE: A SONNET

“The hope is that if you live through it, there will be art on the other side,”

—Louise Glück

When we learn there is no art on this side of the river,
just smooth talkin’ tv jive about miracle drugs, sweet
voiceovers listing deadly side effects, then we see
that all we have ever done is dip our toes in the holy
creek, stepping back reflexively, quaking in some
faithless belief that salvation is to be found in con
artists who profit from our desperation, promising
miracles, but only for those afraid of drowning,
supplicants huddled on the naked shore, chained in
hopeless hatred for the undaunted who have waded
in. Only then. Only then do we step into the rushing
current and, floating downstream, grab hold of a root,
a branch, another’s hand, and crawl up on the other shore,
where art is alive between the canopy and the forest floor.

SL, New Paltz, NY, November 2020