John Diamond

Renoir's Fish

Laid back over oarlocks,
arms akimbo, hat slouched;
slow riding the Loire.

The river pushes
into a bobbing place
a sylvian picnic
where female bottoms convene
in soft repose.

Iridescent thuds, a thrashing of fins.
A large trout flops in the gunnels.
Wide lips, mouthing Gallic obscenities;
the rainbow splashing
of a disgruntled fish.

The rowboat rolls, rights and recovers.
Upon the shore
bottoms rise like plump geese
from green lawns.

The fish sneers,
flips a glowing Gauloises
between thick lips.

Full-figured forms rise
to watch the watery fuss
then shrug
as more wine is poured.

The trout jumps into the river.
Parasols open and twirl.
We all smile behind our hands
as Renoir paints on.