Still Life (after a visit to an art gallery)

Still Life

 

Your eyes are strained with searching

for my face, along the cobbled street.

Reflected in the window pane,

the jug of wine, the fruit, the fresh baked bread;

the simple lunchtime meal prepared for us

to eat. The moon’s first beams illuminate

the pewter plate, the sumptuous cloth.

In the corner, behind oil paintings

of Dutch domestic life, unfinished

since you started painting me,

your truckle-bed, made up

for sharing, with crisp clean linen.

You let the curtain drop,

                                       slowly

accepting-

I wouldn’t be coming back,

 

and pick up a brush to size a canvas.

 

 Today, I saw that canvas hanging

on a gallery wall. Your Roemer,

half-full of golden wine, the peeled

uneaten fruit and the bitten bread

on the pewter plate. Your landlady’s

tassel-edged velvet cloth. The oil

from orange pips stains the table,

and there, pushed behind

the earthenware jug, the glass

you set for me, gleaming

in the moon’s last beams.

 

As I looked

                          I remembered

I’d been gone twenty years

and not been in touch.

 

©theeditoffice 2013

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