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The Beatrice Ravenel Prize

Thomas L. Johnson

On Deciding Whether or Not: List

On Deciding Whether or Not to Purchase a Scenic Print of Table Rock Reflected in a Lake at Sunset

I very well could fall for you, it’s true,
stone lovely as you are. Your mountain face
alone is double dose of beauty: sheer
white image of yourself turned
gorgeous blue in waters that were meant
for your reflection. I could easily
accept the double row of trees at left,
all golden in their death, and too the fallen
pine at right that lends the picture just
the line it needs for perfect composition.
All of this is fine, except for one
small matter: no one’s there—not
a single human being on the scene.
And in the end—and on my walls—it wouldn’t
do for two like us to hang out
in a lonely place. So I will look,
in awe and wonder at the sight, and praise
the artist’s work and eye, but I’ll not buy.

On Deciding Whether or Not: Text
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