“La Maison Meublée (1912)”
—painting by Marie Laurecin
The first thing that you notice is the eyes.
The women both look angry and upset.
The one is standing while the other tries,
it seems, to figure out that man she’s let
into her room. Except, that’s not a man.
You thought it was, because of the cigar.
But now you’re looking closer, and you can
see it’s a woman in a dress. There are
three women then, but what is going on?
Why does the standing woman look askance
at nothing? Is she jealous? What has gone
on that has led to this? Is this romance?
The phrase implies a brothel. You have what’s there,
but nothing else. And so, you stare and stare.
Driving My Mother to the Doctor
A visit to a doctor was adventure—
provided nothing much was really wrong.
It was a lark, a journey, an excursion,
made special by the fact I came along.
The two of us, for what could be four hours,
with maybe lunch thrown in: a special day,
experienced with a palpable excitement.
It wasn’t that we had that much to say.
It was no more than doing it together.
That bond we had was lasting and secure,
and didn’t require anything but presence;
that special time together; nothing more.
We didn’t talk about it. It was there.
Our being close was simply in the air.
Bruce Bennett is the author of ten books of poetry and more than thirty chapbooks. His second new and selected, Just Another Day in Just Our Town: Poems 2000-2016 (Orchises Press, 2017), was published in 2017. His most recent chapbook is a collection of ekphrastic poems, Images into Words, a collaboration with poet Jim Crenner, published by the Dove Block Project in Geneva, NY. He co-founded and was an editor of both Field and Ploughshares. From 1973-2014 he taught at Wells College and is now Emeritus Professor. In 2012 he was awarded a Pushcart Prize. His poetry website is https://justanotherdayin our town.com