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Wednesday, October 17, 2012


by Ed Shacklee

A Picasso and a Gauguin Are Among 7 Works Stolen From a Dutch Museum--NY Times, November 17, 2012

The Monet, Picasso, Gauguin and Matisse
were worth tens of millions of dollars apiece,
thus sturm und drang followed when they went AWOL
from Rotterdam’s lovely museum, Kunsthal,
and every TV blared the news without cease:
“Monet, Picasso, Gauguin and Matisse!”

But the burglars burgled two other fine paintings
which barely got mentioned and didn’t cause faintings.
The Meyer de Haan was an afterthought,
for what kind of bidding would he have brought?
And “Woman with Eyes Closed” by Lucian Freud
was a little too modern and not even nude,

so these were ignored as the burglars ran
off with Picasso, Monet and Gauguin,
plus the "Reading Girl in White and Yellow”
by Henry Matisse, an ingenious fellow;
but spare a few moments regret for de Haan
and Freud, who were stuffed in the back of a van --

less famous, but worthy to hang on the wall
of Rotterdam’s lovely museum, Kunsthal.

Ed Shacklee is a public defender who represents young people in the District of Columbia.  His poems have appeared in The Flea, Light Quarterly, Shot Glass Journal and Tilt-a-Whirl, among other places.