The art lesson

Shelley Stocken
Dec 29, 2020


We criss-cross each cascading, numbered hall

From medieval Jesus to Magritte

With Mitchell, six, disorderly and tall

And Amy, four, distracted by her feet

“What’s that of?” asks the boy, “Is that one good?”

A chance to teach appears — I take a knee

“Now, art is what you think, not what you should

“It’s good if good is what your mind can see

“In here, the rules of outside don’t apply

“It’s not about what’s right, but how you feel

Next room: an installation, metres high

of weather-beaten wood and crumpled steel

my daughter’s face turns stormy with concern

“IT’S POOS!” she shouts. Two tutting ladies turn.



Shelley Stocken

Slipping a poem or two between the cracks. First Place 2018 Central Coast Poetry Writing Competition. Shortlisted for the 2019 ACU Prize for Poetry.