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Rembrandt: David and Uriah

Uriah has risen from the table
At which they have been talking.
He is beginning to walk away.

His right hand is laid across his breast
The way a Diva might take a bow.
Or the President salute the flag
His left hand clasps his belt,
A soldier’s grip.

Like everything else in Rembrandt
It is the moving moment he conveys,
The motif of motion: happening action.
And this, the moment, is fissile.

‘I was this morning early at your door
While sleep still held you unawares...’

But now he knows his heart
Has been inundated, his dreams
Are couriers to nightmare.

The moment is turning hard,
And the moment slowly
Astonishes his heart,
Slowly, inexorably, as coral.

David Broadbridge

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