After stading in line

AFTER STANDING IN LINE FOR HALF AN HOUR FOR THE

VAN GOGH RETROSPECTIVE AT L'ORANGERIE

my father's brother                     who died before he was twenty

spent the last year of his life

sitting on a sidewalk     drawing laborers coming or going from work

his home was near a factory somewhere in the North

his flying pencil sketched

fresh faces and gray bodies

quick steps       and laughter

the joy of living      suddenly loose

after the long confinement of the factory

consumed by tuberculosis no one required him now to do anything useful

as his cough became more frequent and his body shrank his eyes sparkling from fever

captured movements and colors with ever greater clarity and the drawings

piled up

no one knows what became of them there was a wardrobe full

after seeing the huge show of Van Gogh's work carefully assembled

and gazed upon with awe

 

as the miracle-working relics of the saints were gazed upon in the Middle Ages

 

I think it doesn't matter that his drawings were lost

 

 

has anyone ever been happier than my father's brother?