Enigma, by Denise Bundred
Whose Japanese vase? Whose corner table?
Hexagonal in olive green and decorated
with twisted stems and blossom, as pale
as the faded palette of the roses it contains --
the last he painted before that final tumult
of wheat and crows.
Was this bunch in Gachet’s house with dark antiques,
Pissarro’s paintings and the nervous atmosphere
where he dined each week?
Did Marguerite arrange them — yellow
pink and blue — in the music room
before she played on the piano?
A small picture, no clue in any
letter, at a time when he completed
a new canvas every day.
His brother gave it to Gachet’s son for sitting
with Vincent the night after he shot himself
until he, Theo, came on the next-day train.
Whose is the room and who’s is the bowl?
Questions hover in the air of the Musée d'Orsay.
Why another fallen rose?
This poem was first published in The London Grip, June 2021
Denise Bundred: "I was a consultant paediatric cardiologist and has an MA in Writing. I’m a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. My pamphlet, Litany of a Cardiologist, was published in 2020. I won the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine 2016, coming second in 2019. My poems have appeared Hippocrates Prize Winner Anthologies and the NHS Anthology These are the Hands. I have poems in a number of British poetry magazines and online publications including Envoi, Under the Radar, The Poetry Shed, Prole Poetry and Prose, London Grip and Magma."
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