21 FEBRUARY 1987, Page 34

Woman seated on a bench . . . Tate Gallery

— 4184 Startled, her eyebrows raised, she stares at me, Surprised, it seems, to see me standing there, Random, dark shadow from a future she Cannot conceive behind that haughty stare.

Green parasol, a pink dress shot with green (Silk I should think), green bench, green trees, a gay, Important hat with grapes: a parkland Queen Robed and enthroned to greet this summer day.

Surprised, I see myself, within the frame, Adjust my glasses quickly by the rim, Step forward to confirm the artist's name And wonder, 'Is she waiting there for him?'

I hope the wait is short. I cannot bear The cool reproof of her undying stare. Peter Bostock