The Lyric Poem Prize
Debra A. Daniel
I Watch the Final Wednesday in November
Across the pond a woman in a blue sweater
bends to the bank. The geese have gone,
and already, the daybreak heron swooped away
into the taking sky. In this old November,
there is nothing of any consequence, for her to note
except the turtles that splat into the murky swallow.
She stares unimpressed with sparrows, with finches,
with the usual mallard. Even the ordinary emerald
of its head cannot capture her attention,
much less her awe.
I want to rap on the window, point to the way
Monet would have seen this day: the dance
of bare branches, the autumn smear of leaves
across the lawn, the cluttering of ground birds –
towhee, junco, the brown warm of Carolina wren.
I would beg her to notice how the fog has washed
the sky into the palest fade of blue, to see how her own
sweater, how the very unmoving of her unaffected face
reflected in the placid sheet of water
landscapes the graceful day with her own still life.