3rd place winner of the Streetlight 2015 Poetry Contest.
Flowers in a Crystal Vase – Manet, 1882
At the members only showing
of flower paintings, we old folks
dress for comfort. Women in flats
and boutique slacks, light sweaters,
conservative colors, but still
striving for a sense of style.
We men—not so much.
A leather jacket seems to be
the best we can do. As if somewhere
in the back of our memory, a whisper
tells us this makes us debonair,
perhaps a little dangerous, walking
among still-life flower arrangements.
The young guards herd us along,
keep us from getting too close
to the art. I am warned
to put my pen away. Apparently
I am the type that might attack
a white carnation, trace blue lines
around its petals—Perhaps
we retirees are dangerous
glued to our smart phones pretending
to listen to the wi-fi podcast
on the evolution of floral composition,
when we are really secretly planning
the heist of a Manet. A lovely still-life
to adorn our graves. Clusters
of bright white light dazzling
the eye sight of the living.
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