Da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine
First day of Spring and All
I want to do is march up
and down the block proclaiming--
exactly what I’m not sure.
Until I notice a teenage girl
plopped on the grass
by the neighbourhood ball field
its bases gone. its linked
chain entangled in leafless vines.
She’s nuzzling I think
her newborn babe—pure emblem
of Spring. But no, it’s a
ferret, and she’s gazing
into the middle distance,
one hand securing its neck.
Nothing can convince me
I’m not back in Krakow, Poland,
the same Spring day--just stepping
out of the museum where I could be
DaVinci, having just tossed
his brushes into the turps
after the ferret nipped his hand
and he snarled at its owner,
the lady who had enough
of his nonstop invective, who storms
off with her pet, to sit and relax
in the delicious Spring afternoon.
Which is why I silently walk by.
Read another ekphrastic poem by Leonard Kress, here.
Leonard Kress has published poetry and fiction in Missouri Review, Massachusetts Review, Iowa Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, etc. His recent collections are The Orpheus Complex and Walk Like Bo Diddley. Living in the Candy Store and Other Poems and his new verse translation of the Polish Romantic epic, Pan Tadeusz by Adam Mickiewicz were both published in 2018. Craniotomy Sestinas appeared in 2020. He teaches philosophy and religion at Owens College in Ohio. www.leonardkress.com
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