Footsteps pass in front of them first, the workers:
the milkmaid carrying two urns of milk under a glowing moon,
the farmer leading his cows down to the river, burning in the heat of the rising sun,
the watchful shepherd, shivering, hungering, and waiting.
Through the glass doors, the girl stares from under fifteen layers of petticoats,
curious as to the events taking place on the other side.
Her brother scorns her, young though he is, knowing that their role is in this room,
talking to the old man and woman whose powdered faces lead them to an early grave –
they all look down their nose at the glass doors.
The dog by the girl’s feet yaps, yearning to break free and paddle in the untamed stream
that passes through the workers, sick of the neatly trimmed grass
being the only outside beneath his paws.
These huge oil figures are immortalised apart,
destined for years of separate rooms, seperate lives,
no matter where their gazes may lead.