At the Window
–Winslow Homer, At the Window (1872)
The windowsills need dusting.
In all the corners: curled-up spiders
and what the spiders have wrapped in silk
or partly eaten. Upstairs waits that wasps’ nest.
This is difficult to say
but what I want most is to lean away
from this tall chair,
birdcage throne. I don’t dare
look too long at the mist of sunlight raining down.
Time is a cyclorama.
A gauze hung straight from ceiling to floor,
curved to infinity.
I know I am posed, not here.
I know I was never here.
but in blue pajamas—it is too cold
beside the mini white Christmas lights
strung on the windows all year round.
It’s three oh three,
I’ve dreamed a giant red poppy,
tall as a small tree,
noted the time in case of concurrent disaster,
and the moon glows blue on new snow.
It’s good to be lonely
at a time like this.
I wouldn’t want to wake the sleeping world
from its soft desserts.
I pull the curtains
so I don’t appear in the window all lit up
to frighten the paper boy at four.
Is this how the world sees me,
a woman awake before dawn
for no good reason?
Isn’t it good the world’s not looking
and I can be alone
in my little house?
Kathleen Kirk is the author of three poetry chapbooks and the poetry editor for Escape Into Life. Her work appears in a variety of print and online journals, including After Hours, Leveler, Poems & Plays, and Soundzine. She blogs about poetry, reading, and synchronicity at Wait! I Have a Blog?!