As though just another charcoal sketch
stretched across any pale gallery wall,
the gray downtown skyline appears
in silhouette against early-morning sun.
Today, as pairs of rowers scull past
a still-darkened boathouse, this city’s
shimmering river once again brightens,
seems to be illuminated from beneath.
Lined behind one another, they pierce
the surface—every quick spear of oar
opening into a halo, defining the center
of a circle. How easily power transforms
into beauty as each stabbing stroke
leaves in its wake an extended ellipsis
of ovals unfolding like blossoms, white
lilacs in a brightening field of sapphire.
is the author of five collections of poetry, most
recently Tidal Air,
published by Pecan Grove Press. His work has also
appeared in numerous journals, including American Literary Review,
American Poetry Review, American Scholar, Missouri Review, North American Review, Quarterly West,
and Southern Humanities Review.
He is a professor in the English Department at Valparaiso University, where
he edits Valparaiso Poetry Review.