Apr/May 2008 Poetry

Van Gogh in Love

by Bob Bradshaw

Van Gogh in Love

maybe I was foolish
to think Kee would marry me.

Kee was insistent. "No, never."

Her words didn't deter me.
Don't glaciers thaw
under relentless warmth?
I saw Kee melting
into my kisses. Perhaps
I was a fool, Theo,
but why do nothing?

I wasn't the timid fool
who had marched from Cuesmes
to Courrières to meet
the great Breton. Remember, I was too shy
to knock and turned

I knocked as loudly
as a banging shutter.
Kee's father opened the door
and filled its frame.
He refused to let me in.

I passed my hand across
the oil lamp I carried.
I swore that I would leave my hand
over its flame
--until I saw Kee.

He shook his head.
He knew I was as stubborn
as a bent nail.
Sighing, with one breath
he blew my flame


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