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Ugly Art by Helen Shanley

Ugly Art by Helen Shanley

When I was ten my art teacher
said the pink and blue ribbons I loved
were not beautiful,
then showed us Mexican olla and said,
“Now that’s beautiful!”
and posters were beautiful.
and vermillion with spring green.

For years I bought ugly art
and wore ugly prints that looked hand made,
and my husband made ugly jewelry
out of copper and bones and dog chains.
I read ugly books
and listened to dissonant music
and used ugly words
and became a real bohemian,

While the beauty I loved
kept wondering where I was
under it all.

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