In the Gallery Again

They are happy, the subjects of the pictures,
After a fashion. For, however terrible
Things may be, and they seem so even there,
They have a peace: the magnificent marble,
The red bricks’ warmth that the artist captures,
The postures of inhabitants who share
That space will not fold into the rubble,
Nor will they suffer horrors other than
The ones that they are used to.  This is art,
A country whose sure boundaries and strict laws
Protect its own.  It lacks the strength or heart
To interfere outside when such a plan
Would undermine its state.  Meanwhile, the wars
Bang on, lives snap and cities fall apart.