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 After Grace Cossington Smith’s Portrait of Diddy, c 1922.

The out-of-sight interplay of light

             and moisture on the pigment, white

zinc oxide made electrons rearrange

in the bonds to form peroxide,

             which scrambled the fibres in the paper

of this portrait of her loving sister.

In the nation’s gallery, students hear the story

             of the comings and goings of sub-atomic parts

here in this art; the sketch fully restored.

Electrons in orbitals all around them,

             they think as they leave, like the sparkle

on the surface of the city’s lake and trees,

             light striking the cells of all the city’s leaves.