The Foot-Washer, by David Belcher
Lost in the Scottish National Gallery, my father
finds a place to rest, surrounded by Poussin’s
Seven Sacraments. He sits with his back to us--
a bald crown, broad back and creased plaid shirt.
He is caught up in a picture, out of himself.
Eight months after his sudden passing, I summon
the painting on a screen: men recline around
a banquet table. Casual glances and gestures
pull my eye toward a bearded man, and a woman
caressing his right foot. She is caught between
bottomless grief and the joy of release from pain.
The gleam of lamp-light on copper-coloured bowls,
the way shadows slide, suggests the radiance floats
somewhere high above the woman’s head. I’m sure
it is she who bewitched my father’s eye.
Dad wasn’t a religious man, and words like penitence
and sacrament weren’t in his vocabulary; but he knew
the signs of regret, and the look of one who finds
peace, if not in forgiveness, then in
giving yourself over to just one thing.
David Belcher lives on the north coast of Wales in the UK, he is a member of several poetry forums and writes almost every day. His most recent work has appeared in Prole Magazine, Poetry Bus Magazine, Ink Sweat and Tears, The Ekphrastic Review and Right Hand Pointing. David writes and reads poetry because he enjoys it, and for no other reason. He is not a very complicated person.
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