"Figures in a Landscape"
We were two figures in a landscape,
in the middle distance, in summer.
In the foreground, twisty olive trees,
a mild wind made the little dry leaves tremble.
Then, of course, the horizon,
the radiant blue sky.
(The maker was hungry for light,
light silvered the leaves, a stream.)
I liked to think, for your sake,
the scene was Italian, 17th century. …
Viewed from here, we resembled one another
though in truth we were unalike—
and we were tiny, he'd kept us small
so the painting would be landscape, not anecdote.
We were made things, deftly assembled
but beginning to show wear—
you, muscular, sculptural,
and I was I, we were different, we had a story.
Gail Mazur's fifth book, Zeppo's First Wife: New & Selected Poems, won the 2006 Massachusetts Book Award in poetry. Her most recent collection of poems, Figures in a Landscape, was published n 2011. She is distinguished writer in residence in the graduate program of Emerson College.
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