Window Washers

Beth Morris

Before the scaffolding came down,

workmen straddled the skyscraper.

Fearless artists with rags, sprays,

and squeegees. Masterpiece restorers

erasing the amateur touch-up

from the surface of a painting

found in an old farmer's attic,

revealing an Eakins or Grandma Moses

under the grime, construction dust,

smoke from factories carried by wind

and rain across the harbor.

Each pane of glass transformed

into a crystal reflecting sunlight

off the river's tides.


Before the Towers came down,

the window washers

could not imagine

their workmanship would enable

the pilots to pinpoint their targets.

Expose the office workers

behind the casements

to their approaching death,

from both sides of the glass.

They could only watch

their artistry descend,

decay return;

debris, dust,

and ash.

Beth SK Morris is the author of two poetry books: "Nowhere to be Found" (2014) and "In Florida (2010). Her poems have appeared in Artemis, Avocet, Broadkill Review, Crosswinds, Pank, and Poetica, on-line in Screw Iowa! and Bridle Path Press among others. Beth is a member of the Hudson Valley Writers Center and Poets House in New York.