The Photograph

The photograph hangs on the wall by the window
Three judges appear (one carries a folder)—
A tarot card reader, embalmer, engraver
Without much to say and not much of it said
About the boot in the crib and the tire in the bed
The round faced man and the pot on his head
Painted with flowers and chipped on its edge
And the cat near the door with its collar and bell
Flailing and airborne and mid caterwaul
And the three-leggèd dog with her leash on
And sweater, jubilant, leaping— Mon Dieu! Grand jeté!
And the crow— O the crow! In its cage cawing “Fire!”
The crow crowing “Mayhem!” and “Murder most foul!”
The dog and the cat and the crow and the tire
The cage and the crib, the pot painted in flowers
All in a frame with a sign alongside—
“Self portrait. Around the Ides of July.”
A ribbon is clipped and then hung for its owner
It bears the word “Mention” and then the engraver
Makes a note on a form he hands to the embalmer
The tarot card reader turns— She and her hat,
And addresses the room, “Ain’t no card made for that.”


3 Replies to “The Photograph”

  1. Helen C Almaraz @HelenCAlmaraz1, 2022: “Mysterious, fascinating, charming, jaunty, and almost a tune that could get caught in one’s head—quite a painting, quite a poem!”

  2. Dear Poet,
    This is immersive and captivating
    I thoroughly enjoyed this and look forward to feature you on my Ekphrastic Page. Hopefully you will be able to provide a fitting image before publication.

    I will email you!

    Don Beukes

    1. Thank you, Don. I’ve put your page address here so that others can find you too.


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