The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Wednesday


A Frame
By J.D. McClatchy


Fussily ornate and merely decorative,
Wreaths of fruited branchlets and fluttering ribbons
          Echoing the scrolled plasterwork
          On moldings around the mirrored
                    Parlors where a patron
                    Could straighten his collar,
          Reliefs embellished with glass beads
          To mimic his beloved’s brooch,
Rosettes cast in pairs and affixed with foil and wax,
Then coated with gesso and gilded to seem carved,

Or cross-hatched textures scratched onto the surfaces
Of curling leaves and hammered for the fine matting
          Of metal with tiny pocked points,
          The crinkled foil of gold pressed down
                    Onto the moistened bole
                    For a burnished veneer
          That aligns the soft candlelight
          On the apostle’s face with what
Shines more severely from the Savior’s fingertip,
Is not the sort of frame I prefer to enclose

What I should figure on as an allegory
Of someone’s sense of what he puts between himself
          And the world. I prefer the frame
          Whose entablature seems to shield
                    What it displays, withhold
                    What has been given it
          To help explain the mysteries
          Of the child sent to redeem us.
From architrave to plinth, balusters upholding
What the crested lunette oversees, the rigid

Vocabulary of antiquity admits
No distractions, nothing to lead the eye away
          From the perfected cityscape
          And room, where a sad pale woman
                    Under a stone cherub
                    The color of the clouds
          Holds something that she knows will die.
          A friend sits beside her, peeling
An apple. In the distance, three men on horseback
Look up at her window, the darkness in a frame.

--------

Yet another thrilling day around here with mechanical difficulties -- I should just stop posting for a while, huh? Not a bad day, really...apaulled worked from home, perkypaduan came over and we watched the three Merlin episodes that follow the four I watched with cidercupcakes the day before, then finally my replacement phone arrived and I spent several hours taking off the T-Mobile memory-eating programs that I don't use, tweaking the registry, and configuring the settings the way I like them. I cannot stress this enough: Asurion equipment insurance is worth every penny. *adores*















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Evening consisted of the Charlie Brown Valentine's Day specials (very mediocre compared to the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials), listening to younger son practice the violin, listening to older son explain what he's working on in robotics, chatting with a friend whom I just learned is expecting a baby, and trying to figure out who won the Israeli elections. Which it sounds like Israel is still doing, too.
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