Poems of the Week

Au Revoir, Renoir

by Julia Griffin

“Renoir Estimated at $180,000 Is Stolen From Austrian Auction House”—The New York Times 

Who saw, who saw, the small Renoir
Snatched from the auction house ce soir?
The forms were signed, the t’s were crossed,
The auctioneers were toasting Prost!
Now everybody’s mood is noir.

Did some gendarme (affreux à croire!)
Slope off for quelque chose à boire?
There is no way this can be glossed.
Who saw, who saw?

Someone has failed in their devoir,
And lost the house a deal of gloire,
At serious financial cost;
Besides, of course, the painting’s lost,
And like Renoir, that maître d’art,
Who saw, who saw?