Eat your heart out MFA. Fill your courtyard with
tears, Isabella Stewart Gardner. Southby's, just
give up. The longest bas relief in the world is right
here in old Sudbury, Massachusetts. It unrolls before

me as I walk down Water Row. Such delicately-raised
figures cover the dark winding canvas, so finely worked,
you might think they would slither off if only time
could run backwards, the snake flattened to a shadow,

that little bird pressed like a flower on the yellow
line, those frog legs all crazy akimbo ready to spring
into action, the turtle shell going nowhere fast, it's
all here, here in Sudbury, Mass., more than you

can stand to look at, the bas relief of the Row,
a work-in-progress on the road of life and death.

September 20, 2006

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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