Still Life


“Mort Vie” the plaque said

About the painting of rabbits meant for the stew

How frank the French are:  Dead Life

So clear, direct, and sad.


Yet beautiful too

Glossy pelts, soft feet, loppy ears

Draped next to the shiny tureen

Surrounded by onions and savory herbs.


Outside the frame I envision a woman,

Related to this starving artist,

Waiting for dinner to be painted

So she can cook it.


Again:  so French

This tasteful pairing of life and death

In a painting good enough to eat

Where each sustains the other.


I much prefer the English “Still Life,”

A double entendre that would suggest

Or at least pretend

The rabbits are not dead, but resting.