Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Stand, To Walk Away (Poem)

Stand, and Walk Away

      after Vivian Maier's Wilmette, 1969

Being put out,
you don't question
why Paddington's popped his beads,
his head lying

who knows where

in some canyon of cushion
draped with a towel where the bear sits
still, drying. Everything has to be
ready

to go

when the call's made,
the bear finished absorbing
sunlight shadowing itself
through a scrim of kite,

basalt arms having seen better

days. The body's too thick
with sawdust stuffing, propped
just so to show how
backhand first met face

and legs tucked

out to claim the upright
position. You don't question
anymore what's missing, what's been
given to silence

the soughing.

Danger's truth's a lie, and on our paths
where each meets other, we sign
from the head to heart,
pray to stand

again to walk away.

© 2012 Maureen E. Doallas
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This poem is inspired by a Vivian Maier photograph that can be seen here (see number 9 in the slideshow). Work by Maier, whom I wrote about here, continues to be published. The portfolios, in black-and-white and some color, are extraordinary, a deep well on which to draw for ekphrastic poetry.

6 comments:

Laurie Kolp said...

Lovely, Maureen.

Brian Miller said...

You don't question
anymore what's missing, what's been
given to silence

the soughing.

Danger's truth's a lie

wow...love that section, to me it brings the emotion...and then the signing and praying as well....

Anonymous said...

A powerful ekphrastic piece.

Heaven said...

The last stanza is particularly lovely ~

Wolfsrosebud said...

liked the animation with the bear... the missing part sad

darkangelwrites said...

The poem totally changed for me when I went and looked at the photograph. I don't know if it's correct but I then assigned innocence to the bear (beheaded innocence). The church and praying images seemed at odds with the bear.