In Days to Come

Poem by Jennifer Reeser

Remembering me, philosophic, sober,
you will forgive my cruder attitudes,
to focus on my birthday in October,
or love for Degas’ after-bathing nudes.

When lived, elapsed, and muted are my weeks
of galling negligence, you will recall
Cézanne’s still lifes of pitchers paired with leeks
or Claude Monet’s train stations on my wall.

And—thanking God that I am gone—you’ll think,
Good glory, what a flecked and sketchy wench,
most every tack about her black or pink,
Ming Dynasty, chinoiserie or French

A winter storm will stripe the sky with gray,
when you will be reminded how I swore
Renoir’s striped dame and boating déjeuner
would look forever on my dining floor;

Bonnard, Vuillard, the Intimists, determine
my blue boudoir beside a gold-scrolled sconce;
my study keep its Portrait with an Ermine
da Vinci’s lady of the Renaissance.

What unicorns and gryphons I collected
in youth! To be replaced by these mundane
commodities of nature—though excepted
and rare, if marred by an infrequent stain.

Artistic angst with vital glamour vanished
like sere impressionists to pop up daisies,
my blotted presence may turn out a banished
resemblance of small muses to great mazes.