Monday, November 24, 2008
746. On A Painting By Rousseau - Weldon Kees
Father Juniers Dog-Cart, 1908
Rousseau, Henri (le Douanier)
Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris, France
The clouds seem neater than the trees.
The sky, like faded overalls,
Breaks the distances of sight;
And shadow that defines the curb
shelters the silhouette of dog
Who, waiting patiently beneath
The amazing carriage with tangerine wheels,
Is eyeless, though he seems to sense
The black Chihuahua that the pavement grows.
The street is bare. The hooves and mane
Of the posing horse and his speckled flanks
Flow back to the six in the cart he draws:
The idiot aunt and the girl in white
(A Ventriloquist's doll with a colorless wig),
And a sexless figure upon whose lap
A beast is squatting, macabre, blurred.
These four and the one in the yellow hat
Regard us with eyes like photographs
That have been shown us long ago.
––All but the man in the driver's seat,
His wax hands fastened on the reins,
Who, from the corners of his eyes,
Watches the horse he does not trust.