on a painting by Anne Neilson

Inside the frame, two angels stand alone,
point their gaze to the distance of mauve and blue,
attuned to something not yet revealed,
an impulse finding shape in the swirl of clouds.
We stand back, strangely undetected.
One angel’s face is hidden, the other barely profiled–
both bodies straight, their wings long streaks
like white scarves frozen at their sides.
We hold our breath. They barely move, so rare
to find them visible in a world such as ours.
Or is this some other world we’re peering into?
Something only spirits comprehend?
We wait, we watch. We trust in angels.
Wonders will come, the painter has named it.
We think we hear the angels ask, But when?