Angela Allen

A man and woman embrace while sitting on a bench in a gallery, looking onto a large woven piece of art in the style of Jean Miro

Our parents took us to museums
like they ushered us to church.
No questions asked,
voices lowered to a whisper,
no complaints. Required
quiet stops along life’s way.
For years, this went on,
whenever we were
with them and
wherever a museum loomed.

Our parents studied paintings side
by side in dimly lit galleries,
half-worshipping the art,
remaking masterpieces with
revived passion, their past,
tipping their heads this way and
that to get a different look,
“a new perspective,”
explaining to us the text
on the wall.

We sighed
and wandered off
to the gift shop, rifled
through postcards of painted naked people,
until Miro’s tapestry
flamed like the burning bush,
a monstrous moving
manlike shape alive, aloft in Barcelona,
severed my breath, pushed me
to the edge of the bench, enfolding.