Today's poem is by Margaret Ryan

             (Grand Army Plaza, Manhattan)

The paving stones are laid in waves,
concentric, partial, spreading rings
in tones of black and gray and beige,
extended fans that overlap
like feathers on a pigeon's wing.

Like feathers on a pigeon's wing
the fountain's scalloped pools recede.
The broad dry shallow steps arise
by inches toward a naked green
bronze woman, stooped, with one bent knee.

She tries to rise from her bent knee.
At her left hip she lifts a tray.
Is it to show, or give away
her ample harvest — apples, plums?
Abundance leans toward Victory.

Across the square gilt Victory
strides forward on a granite base.
Winged and robed, she wears a crown
of olive branches interlaced.
Both her golden arms are raised.

With both her golden arms upraised,
she might be prow or figurehead
for lifelike Sherman on a horse
whose right rear hoof drives down to crush
a golden pine branch, needles spread.

A golden pine branch, needles shed
like feathers from a pigeon's wing.
The paving stones are laid in waves.
Naked, stooped, with bended knee,
Abundance yields to Victory.

Copyright © 2002 Margaret Ryan All rights reserved
from Rattapallax
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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