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Published: Thu Jul 1 2004
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
Galileo in Florence

With age came diminishing ability to focus
on objects at hand. Pen nib. Collar stud.
Ruddy nest of squab bones on a dinner plate.

Behind him, then, the distance failed.
Northern hills and eastern olive groves
lost ground. Finally, the vineyards vanished
in soft wash of green chintz and gold silk.

He charted each loss in its sidereal arc.
Until the tipped stars, too, emptied the glass
opening the curtain on everyday dark.

B.T. Shaw is a writer and editor. Her first book of poetry, This Dirty Little Heart (Eastern Washington University Press, 2008), won the Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry. She edits and writes reviews for the poetry column of The Oregonian. (updated 6/2010)

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