Today's poem is by Joseph P. Wood

From Winslow Homer's Ocean, A Nation

Each American, the painter believed,
was a rowboat, a speck lost in the cosmos.

Collected, however, we were gathering
waves: a repetitive brutality.
                                          And here was gray
blue fog ready to shroud it all. Behind the painter's back,

the nineteenth century—like all centuries—
was shredding its occupants: each Civil War soul
was reeled into the clouds—
                                or so we had hoped
while corpses pyramided plots of farmland.

Because each half-mast flag would become
crushed by a mountain of footnotes.
Because the footnotes' authors, as they write,
will crush themselves

                      the painter refused,
even as dusk glistened his retinas,
to make a slice
                                where sun & water touch.

Copyright © 2007 Joseph P. Wood All rights reserved
from In What I Have Done & What I Have Failed To Do
Elixir Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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