I confess. We entered the museum to see hand-carved duck decoys.
How easily I imagined rumpy carthorses pulling the Webb caleche
in the roundbarn down slushy New York streets. One wicker casket
to haul a body in the horse-drawn hearse on a hot day.
Then the Wyeth painting in the room of its own –
curators mounted it as a lone window into winter.
The mind’s eye hangs over simple snowy pastures
as vultures twirl, wide-reached acrobats,
haunting splendors far above the bleached farmyard.
Its own gray room, the painting has, with rows of pews,
churchy so I hover over feathered scavengers,
all-seeing of snow and gray hills unto the horizon.
Perhaps the wingeds’ nonchalance is part braggadocio,
how drawn clouds ignore the bland workings
of man for the magnificence of a wake of vultures.
Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet who owns a small peninsula on a pond in Vermont. The Shelburne Museum is a nearby treasure. Knoll's chapbook Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press) features the interactions of humans and wildlife in urban habitat. Ocean's Laughter (Aldrich Press) features lyric and eco-poetry of place about a small town on Oregon's north coast. Website: triciaknoll.com
The Ekphrastic Review
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