Poem: “Goddess boulder”

Poem: “Standing before Turner’s ‘Fall of the Rhine at Schaffhausen’ in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts”
January 25, 2018
Poem: “Four percent pantomime
January 29, 2018
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Poem: “Goddess boulder”

In Boston,

at the MFA,

the faith, love and hope

of the Della Robbia family art,

glazed terra cotta, one hundred

and fifty years of saints and

Madonnas with their Baby Jesus,

the colors, five centuries old,

glow like the warmth

of living skin.


Then, with directions, I

to the basement gallery of Olmec art

to confront the huge squat

crushing ugly boulder

goddess that is shown in

the museum guide and know

it is the weight and

threat of my mother


and find, instead,

a life-size jade priest mask, turned

by fire from green to gray,

delicate, deadly

attractive but not looming.

Not huge. Only maybe

pained. Seeming as much

victim as butcher, except, of course,

to the


to be



In the kitchen,

she sang with Frank

Sinatra about a surrey

with fringe, and, in that

moment, she was the most

beautiful girl in the world.



Patrick T. Reardon



This poem was originally published in Requiem for David from Silver Birch Press in February, 2017.


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