Minnesota is a temperamental artist.
An elitist, really.
A cynic, some say.
She tests the art-seeker with skeptical eyes;
challenging his desire for the art.
Doubting he is strong enough for art.
If he does not become a cynic himself,
and go looking elsewhere,
or stop looking,
If he remains with the artist,
near to her side,
watching her moods,
watching the eyes that squint coldly into his,
and does not seek shelter,
the testing goes on.
Blown to weariness with a thousand gusts of wind,
stung raw with needles of ice,
burned with cold,
and burned with heat,
until wise to the deception of the sun.
Chilled and burned and opened,
he lies pierced and weeping
before the great falls,
the great lake,
the great prairie,
and the artist’s wet, silent eyes,