The Masterpiece

A poem by Susan O'Connell.
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A poem by Susan O'Connell.
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A talented artist came into town offering portraits for a reasonable fee
All the people lined up and he did really well for his work promised immortality

Now the girls at the brothel wanted one too so the artist agreed they could pose
But his easel collapsed and he spilled all his paint when they proceeded to take off their clothes

For the sight of so much lovely feminine flesh let him ruffled, perturbed and upset
This was a painting he might never complete since his palms were beginning to sweat

But the girls knew the trick that would settle his nerves and by the time they were finally through
He painted with a passion of one truly inspired and kept yelling "MICHAELANGELO WHO???"

The girls patiently posed as he worked through the night, never once did his flawless strokes cease
Till the first rays of dawn lit his canvas with light revealing a true masterpiece

The girls were in awe as they gazed at his work, their praise made his confidence grow
He somehow had managed to capture their souls and their faces shown with a radiant glow

People came from all over to admire this prize even though the models were ladies of sin
The girls didn't mind the intrusion at all since it brought dozens of customers in

The painting changed hands many times through the years till no one remembered its true claim to fame
Its origin and models could never be traced since the artist neglected to paint in his name

It was purchased years later by a very rich man who unveiled it at a fancy soiree
He announced to his guests he was ninety percent sure it was a Rubens or maybe Manet

You see nudity was acceptable to the cultured and rich, that's what set this fine gentleman apart
He considered himself a connoisseur and believed that anything this lewd, must be a great work of art

The fanfare of trumpets and the rolling of drums produced a fitting unveiling effect
But the stunned silence that followed the last clarion note wasn't the reaction he thought he would get

No one said a word as they gathered their coats and quietly hurried outside
He wasn't sure he heard right but his wife seemed to sob something about social suicide

He wondered why his guests had walked out as they gazed at these beautiful nudes
To him they were an artistic depiction of nymphs and his friends were nothing but prudes

But as he stared at the painting the light finally dawned and he realized his huge oversight
For on closer inspection it was perfectly clear, that the Mayor's wife was the third from the right

©Susan O'Connell