The air’s cool and still. Two in flannel smoke
cigarettes and brush past, brindle mutt
sniffing, nose over a row of ants close
to the rock. I study the deepest cut--
back of the woman’s head (supposition,
no doubt). The chickadees flit elm to elm,
limbs dripping. On one matter I’m certain:
accidental beetles are killing them
back home—another disease we carried
onto this continent. Knowledge is
not a solution. This place is flooded.
Nobody asks why. Real art is scarce.
I hear the ring of a hammer & chisel,
people on the trail; they don’t stop until…
Unfettered, chickadees flit tree to tree,
black & white, comfortable in their two
colors. One common bird. One song. Debris:
elm sprigs, a twig bent like a knee, one shoe--
a lavender suede mule, on the narrow
trail. No footprints go to or from the rock.
I recall Pieta, Michelangelo
freeing a woman and her son, a tick-
tock, irregular, unrhythmic; no time
to waste on the past’s dead hands. Transition
takes guts. On their knees, they wait for divine
intervention. No god’s coming. One man
chisels superfluous material.
In each whack, crack and cut, we are revealed.
Robert E. Ray
Robert E. Ray is a retired public servant. His poetry has been published by Rattle, Wild Roof Journal, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, and in six poetry anthologies. Robert is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University. He is a native of Indiana and now lives in rural south Georgia.
The Ekphrastic Review
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