Art Class
By Jack Conway

We came to class, expecting to draw a nude.
Instead, there was an old sea captain,
perched on a stool in the center of the room.
When we began to sketch, the captain
took off his false beard. Beneath it was
another beard, even worse than the first.
I thought that the sea captain
would turn out to be
the beautiful naked model,
that it had been a trick,
to show that beauty lies hidden from us all,
disguised in ways we cannot imagine.
But it was only an old sea captain,
with a false beard.
Even his peg leg was phony.


Jack Conway’s newest book of poetry is, Life Sentences. His work has appeared in:
The Antioch Review, The Columbia Review, Yankee, The Land-Grant College Review,
The Paumanok Review, RALPH, The Peregrine Review and The Norton Anthology of
Light Verse. He is an instructor at the Sarah Doyle Fiction Writers’ Workshop at
Brown University.


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