University of Virginia Slide

I could say things have not changed much,
All the neoclassical glory remains set
In familiar halcyon arrangements,
The picture certainly appears
Old enough to make such a declaration,
It looks soft enough to now be a memory,
The trees are covered in a haze
Of leaves that stick to the branches
And the grass is hard to distinguish
From a sea painted onto the photograph,
But maybe it was taken yesterday,
There are plenty of applications out there
For coloring in the lines with a tint
That imitates old chemicals and storage
In a nearly forgotten cave under a dark pile
Of other gardens colored green by hand.

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This poem is the first in a series of works inspired by the Smithsonian Institution’s photo archive, made publicly available on Flickr. If you would like to, choose an image from their collection and create something – be it prose, poetry, audio, or visual art – inspired by it, and send it to snakeoilcure [at] gmail [dot] com.