the old barn by the sea

the picture I liked best?

a watercolour

in a wormy wooden frame

an old barn by the sea

with a path drawing you down

through a field of poppies.

‘By a cousin of mine’ she said

‘Used to be a set designer. For the opera.

Long gone now, of course.’

I lean in to read

the signature in the corner

pressed with the end of the brush

when the barn was done

and the clouds were lit

and the field was singing with red

‘I’ve got another one of his somewhere,’ she said

‘but not in a frame, I’m afraid.’

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