The Woman in an Imaginary Painting

Do not stretch
your imagination
so far the world

flattens. Do not
stray farther
than your promise

reaches. State
only your
belief about

true matters.
Light is light —
don’t stretch it.

Color is
color. Line.
Don’t stretch them.

And if you see
motion, know
that, for a

very long time,
she has been
wanting to move.



Tom Montag‘s poem Lecturing My Daughter in Her First Fall Rain has been permanently incorporated into the design of the Milwaukee Convention Center. He blogs at The Middlewesterner. With David Graham he recently co-edited Local News: Poetry About Small Towns.