Art Therapy

He scribbles our language of life
at home in its darkness,
outlines shapes in an empty sky;

a broken crayon traces broken clouds
like a bully with a stick chases
children under a harvest moon.

Every day for a week he painted
himself into the watercolor
of a father slapping a mother,

but I saw a Christmas star
in the glowing spider
he smeared above them,

told him even though it’s hard
to separate joy from despair,
art knows no boundaries,

knows how simple strokes
become small patches covering
the wounds on the walls of our hearts.

—Jeffrey Johannes, Port Edwards, WI