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