The old watercolor over the mantle
in my mother’s house – the twin
gray fishing boats, the brown
warehouse, the whitewashed walls. Gentle
Gloucester, Massachusetts (Grace
Ravlin pinxit – Grandpa’s
cousin, from Kaneville, Illinois).
Soft clouds, the upright crosspieces
of lank lanyards (still sea-green
harbor, granite walk).
Thinking of another work –
lone lady at Mount Vernon, culling
flowers for George Washington.
And of another Maximus –
not Gloucester’s famous
philosophe, but Maximus, blue unicorn
who sketched with Euxine seagull arcs
on stumps (his amputated
medium) one delicate
& sibylline solution. Sparks
fly upward from the hearth of Love
– fly outward, penetrate
wolf-packs of gulag-state.
This heart simmers like kiln-hot stove
or croon of turtledove, hidden...
violet in tall field grass,
cricket near an underpass.
Willow by slow river (Magdalen).
Grace Ravlin, Gloucester Harbor (ca. 1928)