Magazine | August 29, 2016, Issue

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’s most recent work is a translation of Augustine’s Confessions.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

God’s Plenty

"If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

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 ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

The Disability Trap David French’s article on the VA’s overmedication of veterans (“Casualties of the VA,” July 11) was most insightful; your candor is especially noteworthy. You failed to mention what ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ If only the State Department were as focused on its mission as the Clinton Foundation. ‐ Hillary Rodham Clinton does not like to do press conferences, but she may change ...

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