Poetry at Sangam



Landscape with Figure in Blue by Nancy Naomi Carlson

Too early for full light, yet the wrens
have been calling an hour now, mate to mate,
while within walls subdued in pale golds 
as in a painting by Hopper, a neighbor’s hands
calm her cat on the window sill.
The cat, sensing boy or man or deer
in the shared yard, tracks the dog
at the end of my leash.
The dog seems blasé, but for the twitching ear,
and ignores me, too, on the side porch
in my terry robe—a man’s terry robe
with hood, blue, or what years of rinse
and spin render what was blue something less—
the robe I bought for chilled days
of late thaw when the dog must go out
and no man here for the robe,
none for the dog,
though any one of three husbands,
here and gone, might have left such a robe,
and each might disagree about who
did the leaving, but not what was left:
the Japanese maple burning
orange-red at the curb;
a small dog that jumps like a deer or boy,
or man, vanishing into the early light.