The Shadow of the Lighthouse
falls on the grass sloping down to the hotel
at the edge of Monhegan Island
in our painting by Paul Arlt, which hung
in my parents’ living room in 1943
when my father worked in D.C.
as our troops pushed ashore at Salerno
and I was born.
In the painting, we stand atop
the absent lighthouse, looking beyond the hotel
to a smaller island, then the curved horizon
beneath a pinkish sky.
General Kesselring’s panzers countered,
then withdrew to their Winter Line
slowly up the snowy central mountains,
the “tough gut” of the Axis, said General Clark,
apologizing to his men.
Two decades later my brother and I retrieved
the Chevrolet convertible of our father,
divorced and dead, and drove it east,
stopping at Dealey Plaza where in November
President Kennedy had been hit,
the Zapruder frame holding the instant
not shown for years.
The smaller island, Manana, is bare
with just a foghorn station’s
lone beacon sticking in the sky.
A few sailboats sit in the harbour
near the hotel where my family must have stayed
when we visited and I was only a boy.
Hunt Hawkins' book of poems, The Domestic Life, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize and was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Individual poems have appeared in Poetry, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Tri-Quarterly, Poet Lore, and many other journals. Hunt has lived in Norway, Myanmar, Tanzania, and Poland where he taught as a Fulbright Distinguished Professor at Jagiellonian University in Krakow.
The Ekphrastic Review
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