Rembrandt and His Son

by Merryn Williams

Rembrandt paused, and saw him faint —
a young man, as he was —
lying white and unresponsive
in the middle of the street;
blood-letting had done him in.
(No thought, then, of Titus).

One old woman, one old man,
crowded round him, thrusting
a handkerchief beneath his nose.
The teenage Rembrandt thought
that scene would do for one of the
Five Senses, which was Scent.

Forty years, and much was lost,
but still his much-loved son
till the age of twenty-seven
lived beside him, managed
his affairs.  But Titus died,
blood-letting did nothing.
He was bankrupt, failing fast,
and Titus — just a painting.