Wednesday, January 26

A Picture

A Poem by Clive Allen

I have spent the last few days
working on this picture
for you. In it there is a tree,
a yellow chair (the sort
with a straight back and a cane
seat), a sky the colour of lilacs
and, on the chair, a bundle
of grey twigs. I hope
you like it. I hope you can see
your hand in it. The tree is
probably some sort of chestnut,
but I wouldn’t know a chestnut
from a beech and I wouldn’t know
a beech if it walked up to me
and introduced itself. I don’t know
what it means and this is why
I’ve been working on it: so that
I can send it to you and you can
tell me. Do you think the chair
is you or are you the tree?
Are the twigs and the chair symbols
of resurrection? Is the sky
in any way important?
Is the fact that it is clearly winter
at all relevant? It’s not difficult
to see why I needed to get some help
in figuring out what I’ve done.
I’m sure you will
come through on this for me
and tell me what’s behind it,
and if there’s anything to praise
in it. After all these years
surely we can speak honestly,
in words we can both understand.

© C. J. Allen 2005

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