Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Channel of Gravelines, Petite Fort Philippe, Georges Seurat, 1890

(link to painting)

No one would guess how long someone would wait to walk
by this flat water and its few derelict boats.
Some change has taken place. Always some change
like the rumble of engines through these few still masts.
Almost no one ties to these polished moorings.
No one else comes to walk here. But the one bright boat,
the one just pushed off, a father busy at ropes
and cursing the children I only hear squealing,
this one cheers me only because it is alive.

What brought it here and where might it go in this calm?
Where might it go in this surface without a ripple,
by this quay without litter that curves back toward land,
an invisible city of closed gardens and
more questions, and doors leading to yellow ledgers
and double columns of answers, answers, answers?

The boat seeks some remaining wind to pull a tight
triangle against, one stark as that lighthouse
just over the hill, that one that says there's somewhere
just out of sight where all the buildings have moved away.
That family has whole sea to go to today.
There is the whole sea to go to. Empty. Empty. Empty.

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