Winter Landscape with Skaters and Bird Trap
A dazzling scene—why mar it with a bird trap?
About Breugel, Auden was never wrong--
that meaning waits unnoticed in the corner
while winter sunlight floods the snow, blots sky,
turns shapes to figures skating on noonday shadows.
Villagers spread across the glowing ice,
and birds watch, like the many-eyed houses
turned toward the skaters. And, stillest, the heavy boards,
propped on a stick, baited for hungry beaks.
But now I see that the skaters, themselves, are trapped
in a winter dream of freedom and sunlit snow.
And I have been enthralled along with them
by this silent prologue glimpsed through tangled limbs,
this glow flooding ice, blurring a weight's faint shadow--
so caught up that I missed the hole in the ice
and the string on the trap, its unseen hand offstage
(a boy's? the devil's? the painter’s?) waiting for dazzled
souls like mine grown heedless in blissful light.
Memye Curtis Tucker
Memye Curtis Tucker is the author of The Watchers (Hollis Summers Prize, Ohio University Press), the prizewinning chapbooks Admit One and Storm Line, and Holding Patterns; and poems in Poetry Daily, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Georgia Review, Oxford American, Prairie Schooner, Shidae Munhuck [featured in Korean translation], Southern Review, among others. With a Ph.D. in English literature, multiple fellowships from MacDowell, VCCA, and the Georgia Council for the Arts, and numerous awards, she teaches poetry writing and is former Senior Editor of Atlanta Review.
The Ekphrastic Review
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