Probably a cow staring back from a landscape field,
a lone magpie miniaturized beside a giant elm,
a shepherd’s crook scaling a wide hillside,
a red cape on the piazza, a dame feathered in finery.
Then the flocked sheep, the birds above the tower,
also the strollers, simple gestures on a flat strand.
And the lock-keeper, less finished than his lock,
laboring to hold back his whitecaps pressing in.
Blocked-in to scale, contrast, witness, to play out
a lesser tale, they hold firm for the small,
against the sky, mountain, seascape, archway,
lordly edifice that would easily upstage us all.
Ann Taylor is a Professor of English at Salem State University in Salem, Mass. where she teaches both literature and writing courses. She has written two books on college composition, academic and free-lance essays, and a collection of personal essays, Watching Birds: Reflections on the Wing. Her first poetry book, The River Within, won first prize in the 2011 Cathlamet Poetry competition at Ravenna Press. A chapbook, Bound Each to Each, was published in 2013. Her most recent collection, published in 2018, Héloïse and Abélard: the Exquisite Truth, is based on the famous twelfth-century
story of their lives.
The Ekphrastic Review
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