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Bathing at Asnieres, by Seurat
Bathers at Asnieres, by Seurat
Only the men on the riverbank
Behind the boy in the red cap
Can look for what he sees
For what he sees he calls to
Through raised cupped hands
Waist deep in summer heat
A little red dog jerks around
Next to the reclining man in the bowler
Toward the sound at which he gazes.
Silently near an oafish and idle
Big boy dangling his feet
Unprotected and chalk shouldered
Up the bank another boy under a straw hat
Watches another boy sink
Shoulder deep oblivious to a sculler
Vanishing toward the place the boy calls
Frozen in an imagined breeze
Poplars and sails flank smoke stacked factories
Beyond a bridge where a skiff ferries the others
In heat that stifles smoke and sails and the calls of boys
To unseen shores
Under the gaze of all others

Rod Titus, September 1991