Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

Cape Cod Morning

Almost accidental, but carefully composed:

the sky behind the trees beyond the meadow,

tall grasses glowing in the morning sun

below and to the right.  And rising left

the Cape Cod house’s painted clapboard side.

At centre, as if growing from the clapboards,

but grander far, a corniced window bay

in darker wood.  Clear morning sunlight fills

the room we glimpse inside.  A woman leans

upon a table in the window, looks

out into sunlight, over grass, towards

some distant point outside the picture frame.

What does she see?  Is there something there?

Some object or event which holds her stare?

Or is it just the clarity of light, the glowing

grass and trees outside her window, warming

in the sun?  Or maybe nothing—maybe she

is pensive, dreaming, lost in reverie.

And the artist who is showing us the scene

—does he know what it is she sees?  The frame

he chose has cut us off from looking at

the focus of her gaze: does he not want

to tell?  


This painting has a private life.