: martin dace :


thoughts on Velasquez's Supper at Emmaus


The brass bowl tilted, leaning on a jar,
The plates stacked ready to put away,
A bulb of garlic, here a crumpled cloth,
Another working day's small loose ends.
An ordinary kitchen girl, from anywhere -
Seville, or London, a cafe, bar, near you -
Turns her head slightly to the scene behind,
And though her right eye seems to dream,
Her left betrays the glint of presence, world
Of difference shown by one soft point of light.
Here a mortar in which herbs are crushed,
Here a basket hanging on the wall
To take some unused food to eat at home.
Her left hand firmly grasps the water jug,
Her right four fingers touch the table edge -
Whether to act or not? Light on her face,
Turning to the moment in the room beyond:
The breaking of the bread, the blessing.
She has so little time to walk into
That room and speak. No. Break all convention.
Turn. Cry through the open hatch and ask...

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