In a pretty little French town, Auvers-sur-Oise,
we will walk up from the station,
past that church, past that wheat field,
to his grave, against the cemetery wall,
alongside his brother Theo, and we’ll pray.
Church of Auvers-sur-Oise
Wheat Field with Crows
Daubigny’s Garden, possibly Vincent’s final painting
“Selfie” was added to the dictionary recently.
Lots of photos of the self clicked
in a moment without thought or purpose.
Not quite van Gogh self-portraits but saying
“I’m here. This will be here longer.”
Not Vincent’s bouquets tumbling from a pitcher,
or his gardens of sword-shaped leaves and blooms
spilling off canvas, but these wife-picked flowers –
glass vase alone by the white wall,
plants I have been tending since childhood.
at his Yellow House in Arles, France.
Enter through the door to the right.
The guest room door to the left
is prepared for Gauguin, if he visits.
The walls seem skewed, because they are.
At 37 and depressed, Vincent shot himself.
Probably. No witnesses. In the wheat field
that he was painting much of late.
The bullet deflected passed through his chest
without much damage. He smoked his pipe.
Not a fatal shot but an infection.
He said “The sadness will last forever.”