Tim Barnes

         Who stood at the apex
         of your kinship and descent? Who
         now sits shamefaced, arranging
         their wits about the floor, soaking
         their feet? This sufferer,
         in crippling discomposure lays out
         the quarrels, the murders, the debts
         of a lineage.

         Whose scream was muted, leaving
         only a silent opened mouth, red
         and straining? Here
         is the vacant face, wrenched,
         facing backward. Here
         is the red pool on the pine floorboards and here
         is the empty eye,
         relentlessly pounding in the mind of those living.

         This bouquet will never die.
         The receiver,
         (left suspicious of a gesture too warm),
         remembers the horse of Troy and
         those soldiers biding their time, quietly
         sharpening swords and spears.
         Plastic flowers veneered in silver extend
         their tendrils outward,
         unlikely to satisfy the bee or butterfly,
         this bouquet will never die.

         From a dispirited domestic scene,
         our main protagonist, has
         leant so far back on her plastic chair
         she's plinth bound, the well-known,
         unknown woman by Da Vinci's hand,
         La Belle Ferroniere now turns
         the other cheek, responding soundly
         to abrasive eyes and whispers;
         'Those shackles that swing above our heads,
         they're for you and I'

         And after,
         we'll see the animals at the zoo. At ten,
         maybe a picnic
         or a game of tennis and then
         take a walk on the beach.
         And if it rains,
         a wander inside the sea caves, where
         the echoes reduce our words, however poignant
         or profound to sounds devoid of distinction,
         meaningless and utterly dull.


Isa Genzken
Isa Genzken - Mutter Mit Kind - 2004 - Image from hyperallergic.com