Monet to his Wife, While Winding the Sheets
—after Claude Monet’s “Camille on Her Deathbed.” 1879. Oil on canvas. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France.
I’ve seen life leaving small things:
a tabby cat,
a red winged bird;
once I held a dog I loved
as breath grew shallow and rare.
But you, Camille, are a complicated thing.
I think of clocks, of coils and gears
and springs and hands;
I think of time and ticking
and how your fingers
were light, precise, and small.
This morning you lay veiled and absent.
I painted you a final time;
Camille, you fled
and took with you every hue.
What remains is as simple
as a broken bird,
as a clock run down.
are these dark and
by Kristin Roedell
from Autumn Sky Poetry Number 19, October 2010