Van Gogh’s Pieta

Sometimes you accept the gift
and move on. You add nothing,
subtract nothing. That is not to say
there is no sorrow, no pain.
See how van Gogh painted
the world as he saw it.
So beautiful with shadows,
his brush strokes animating faces
and landscapes alike with energy
and expression. Of course,
pain comes with the territory.
In Pieta, for example, there’s
van Gogh’s lifeless body. Not
that he would have changed a thing—
not that he could even if he wanted.
Each little death bears a promise
of renewal, the promise of rebirth.
The seed in the pod.
The forest burnt to ashes.
Beauty is tinged with sadness—
always. A child’s birth
is attendant with pain.
The midwife catches
the bawling infant.
In Pieta, see how
van Gogh’s limbs fall
trustingly into the arms
of the woman
in the blue dress.

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