Apologies to Madame Cézanne
Eyes battered by Monet’s water lilies
at the Musée de l’Orangerie,
I creaked weary knees downstairs looking for
Albert Sisley’s quiet restful places.
Ahead of me in the narrow gallery
an elegant Asian woman paused before each picture,
raised her iPhone, tapped, and moved on to the next.
Oddly standing well back from the pictures in front of her,
leaving only a small space between her
and the pictures on the wall behind.
In my search for Sisley’s tranquility
I looked for a chance to pass.
To avoid intervening between her
and her pictures of the pictures,
I discreetly slid behind her
as she prepared to tap again.
I glanced at the image on her iPhone,
surprised to see her face and, over her shoulder, mine.
She was taking selfies that included each painting
behind her not in front.
In this case of me obliterating
bored Madame Cézanne in her garden,
then as now subject of another’s picture,
who didn’t crack a smile.
Kieran Egan lives in Vancouver, Canada. His chapbook, ‘Among the branches,’ is forthcoming from Alfred Gustav Press. He was shortlisted for the Times Literary Supplement (UK) Mick Imlah prize in 2017, and his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Canadian magazines Quills, Literary Review of Canada, Dalhousie Review, Qwerty, Antigonish Review, Canadian Quarterly, and, in the US in Tenth Muse, Foxglove Journal, Snapdragon, Shot Glass, Sheila-Na-Gig, Raintown Review, and in the UK in High Window, Orbis, Envoi, Acumen, HQ Poetry Magazine, Interpreter’s House, Dream Catcher, Dawntreader, and Times Literary Supplement on-line.
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