The Corner

Poetry

A PAINTING IN THE NATIONAL GALLERY

 

Flowers and weeds together spill,

Careless and drizzly, down the hill

 

In a long back garden that’s anywhere

Outside London. I am living there

 

Beside the window, no longer trying

At all, but easily, innately dying

 

Far from the shame for what I broke,

Far from the urge for a brilliant stroke.

 

The neighbor’s son, who’s a little slow,

Comes every couple months to mow –

 

No worry of mine what he achieves:

I’m even grateful for what he leaves.

 

Yes, it’s pure nonsense, any place

Closer to God’s own “presence,” His “face”:

 

Hardly a joke I could call unknown

By now, or a good one — but leave me alone,

 

As if I were twenty-one and stood

Staring and seeing as much as I could;

 

As if I were twelve and lay in bed,

Sensing an arm on my back, my head

 

On a sturdy chest, and a voice in my ear.

What I hope, I know; now leave me here.

 

 Sarah Ruden

NR Staff — Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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