[Landscape with Birds, by Lucian Freud, 1940]
She was neglecting herself.
That interception, missing thought,
who cried into her sight for mommy,
please come and change me,
brush hands over me, palms of care
always elsewhere, and eyes averted
to flicking filmstrips ranged from horizon
to horizon and speeded up. The whining
child would have to make do.
But that baby didn’t understand,
had no reason at all and just cried and cried
while she panelled the walls, one block of rapid
filmstrips, one lethal blot–alternating these,
telling it to shut up.