Light on Oil Can
Light doesn’t hit the can until about noon.
Inside, the oil smells earthy, ready for a wheel or cog.
Grady gave an oil can to his younger cousin, Keno.
Here, buddy. Every kid needs a can and a red rag in
The garage in case of rust or other calcitrance.
Oil on canvas. Light on Oil Can, the painter calls it.
Note how sienna mystical surrounds the copper practical.
Ouspensky, who didn’t know the working life,
Insisted: Man is a machine most days.
Light all afternoon illuminates the spout and trigger.
Can you hand me the oiler? Keno asked.
All the while meaning make yourself useful, girl,No hanging about the shop looking at light.
(The above painting and poem were first published by Still Point Literary Arts.)