Life: Still Life
Have you seen the still life: a slice
served up by the masters, just so?
One rosy apple, one green pear,
golden round of cheese, knife, platter.
An empty chair, the table set
as if it could be for you.
Or are you in the pastoral?
Lakeside figure, dangling brown feet.
Are you dreaming? bamboo rod,
spade sleep on the bank,
rustic loaf peeks from the basket
lined with blue checked cloth.
Orchard melts to meadow,
Silent mill expects a breeze,
Inside the stone cottage, a still life
where nothing changes.
Yet, the pear blackens against the hard bowl,
the apple caves where it struck the dry ground,
mildew dusts the cheese,
more yellow than gold,
and lines trace the figure’s face.
You cannot see what came before.
You wonder who set the table,
baked the bread, picked the apples.
You ask what will come when the season goes.
Who will take the seat,
Who will sow and who will reap,
who will dream, who will weep.
You cannot change what came before;
you wonder what will come.