In Passing


19 June 2016

The air, this morning,
is a woven veil of light
sparrows fly through,
without tearing;

a veil oars draw their blades against,
without tearing;

a veil that catches on the trees,
without tearing.
The sound of oars to water is rhythmic,
like sticks against a liquid drum
that sets the beat of the day,
that rows the shell of day
from the shore of night,
Eos at the oars,
Eos, one with the light.

As Eos oars past,
an egret stands
captivated, by what
I cannot determine
beyond assuming it is
reading the water beneath the surface
with its senses.

The reflection of the ironwork
of the bridge crossing the river
does not quite reach
where the egret stands.
But it laces the river
and the edge of the marsh
that juts out far enough
for Eos to touch, in passing,
with an oar.

This Eos does.
The marsh warms.
The egret blinks.
A shadow darts
beneath the river’s surface.
Stabs! the water
the egret does with its beak.
Stabs! and stabs!, again,
the body of the water.
O! murderous act!
(Permit me my moment of drama?)
And it’s only breakfast time.

By then, Eos had rowed
through the reflection
of the iron lacework of the bridge.
And gulls were crying, curious,
above the abundant overflow
of bins behind the restaurants
in the town still drowsy with sleep.

The steeple bell was still
ringing the sixth hour
as the train blew through
the town on time;
gulls, bell, train
slowly raising
the world from the cleaved
tomb of night,

while Eos, in her fair
fall of gold hair, rowed
brighter, brighter
the day further from night.

Philip Kuepper
(8 April 2016)

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