To those who repair and paint

Photo by AG-PHOTOS

To those who repair and paint
the wall behind the picture frame
and waggle their shoelaces to exact
equals on both sides of the eyelet—
I love you anyway, you are my people.

To those who think over
a thought they think they shouldn’t think—
I love you anyway, you are my people.

To those who crisply press
the back of a shirt to be worn inside
a jacket all day—
I agree with you that precision invisible
is a prerequisite for the visible, and
I love you anyway.

Except the thought you think you should not think—
when I say I love you anyway,
it’s not just ruth to our qualms.
I’m saying it’s the only way—anyway, in spite of—
our unfailingly cracked, skewed, and wrinkled pith
can appear to us as spackled, evened, and pressed.

Steven Ray Smith

Steven Ray Smith’s book, a two minute forty second night, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2022. His poetry has been published in Verse Daily, Yale Review, Southwest Review, Kenyon Review, Barrow Street, Poet Lore, Hollins Critic, and others. More information about his work can be found at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Maximum of 400 words or 2000 characters.

Comments on may be used in the Forum of the print magazine and may be edited for length and clarity.