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 centurylike 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
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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