Still Life II

Brad Bostian

Up on the hill in a mausoleum house
Boredom lies on the grass like stuck snails
And leaves like coins fixed to the driveway.

Outside the gardener kneels to milk a patch of weeds
Letting each handful draw from the ground
While his heart beats in time to the flies
That skewer the sweat of his forehead.

A door opens and the butler bends
To give the cat its bowl of milk
As if it were the red milk of rubies
Or the blood of indefinite life.

Inside the son with wire-brush haircut
Lies back on elbows, breathing,
Holding a newspaper and squeezing
The proper black essence of words.

Beside him on brass
Teak wood hands pray
In white gravel that never mixes.

In a room farther in, the patriarch
Who built it all when his gray-haired hands
Were busy as wasps, sits like an ant in amber.
He made his way to where time flows;
It flowed like milk and honey over him
It flowed
And flowed
And suddenly stopped.


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