The painting was a gift,
the kind you don't want
but have to accept with manufactured grace.
It's not the first such lovely
that I've had forced down my throat,
but it rankles more than most;
its mandatory display a knife
that never stops twisting.
And, there it hangs.
A loud declaration of wealth and taste.
A scream of influence and importance.
A nagging, insistent clamor for admiration and acclaim.
A demand for submission and gratitude.
I avert my gaze out of spite
and picture a wall
blank and mine.