GOOSE DOWN IN THE EUROPEAN WING
The Dutch painter
Kiel’s The Lacemaker
may belong to a series
of the five senses and represent sight.
The goose down floats across the assassination
of John the Baptist
and the girl in the lusterless gown
and blue apron. Double strands of cotton
feed into the shuttle of needles
in her hand. Perhaps
taken with the balls of thread,
her cat observes from behind a chair.
Though the lace doesn’t grow,
the down ascends
past the coral beads at her neck
and into the parted clouds
of a Tiepolo ―
who wrote in 1731
of his sketches as auditions for commissions
that they are the finished paintings
and the altarpieces
are copies ― portraying the annunciation.
frame the portal of brilliant sky.
The goose needed to be captured too,
and then became like the cat that doesn’t move
on this canvas, it became the feather
that does not
touch the ground.
Lauren Jacqueline Roberts is a poet raised in Massachusetts and living in Brooklyn. Her work appears in The Volta, Barrow Street, the minnesota review, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from New York University.