A Walkabout in Andrew Wyeth’s Painting and Other Poems


A Walkabout in Andrew
Wyeth’s Painting

before the squall hit,
                                                before ton-heavy boulders were thrown from
the breakwater. Before. We stood at the window. We lay calm on wood-
colored beaches. Dreams don’t sink children with the ship. Ships carrying
other languages are found empty atop mountains in far countries, so far
from their water. After my giving directions, I saw the woman cross our street
as she was hit by a car the color of dusk. She sank
                                                                          at once as if into a hole. I carried
that hole in my stomach for years. A sinkhole, also known as swallow hole,
a doline, caused by some depression, by some form of ground collapse. In
the ’60s TV was filled with them on islands as quicksand & as men’s mouths,
immolation fire’s cadmium-midst of protest. Films of ditches, war holes, number-
less gray graves unaccounted for. Running
                                                                          before a storm’s roiling, I learned how
to love being alone, jump over wide spaces. I flew roof to roof once, slept body
against a tree, dreamt the wet black head of a horse breathed desert-white
    clouds over
me. A child can look like anyone. Where sea waves can look like blown wheat
eaten by wind. At her end of the day. The long walk.
                                                                                   The wilderness rest of our lives.


If contents in Joseph Cornell’s

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