The Gift


On the wall for forty years,

a copy of some famous painting.

Almost everything a strange dark

shade of blue, a blue not quite

blue, the merest hint of green:

antique cupboard, curved table

base, ladder back chair, window

frame, even the tree outside.

The only exceptions:

white table cloth,

newspaper in the lady’s hands,

her pale pink floral dress with tiny

darker pink flowers,

large copper antique teapot

in the cupboard, the black and copper

pots on top.  Her teacup, saucer, plate

of toast, white and blue, an old Danish pattern.

I’ve kept this gift,

hung on too many walls to count.

My college roommate, the giver, said,

“This reminds me of you.”

I look at it; all these years

have wondered why.

We’re still friends.

I’ve never asked.