Across-The-Street Ekphrastic

by Len Krisak (October 2013)

At 94, she’s learning how to crawl

Despite her pride; the grass has her in thrall.

Weeding from dawn on past the last of fall—

From spring to when the snow will cover all—

She stretches, one hand propping, on her lawn,

Giving new meaning to suburban sprawl.

She looks to dig until the last weed’s gone.

And as she roots out what the wind has squirreled

Away, her splayed form, now a Dying Gaul

Or yearning figure from Christina’s World,

She turns my picture window to a frame,

All metaphor—transformed beyond recall,

Though weeds live on, and each day is the same,

And nothing that she does will ever pall.


Len Krisak has published in The London Magazine, The Oxonian Review, PN Review, Standpoint, Agni, The Antioch Review, The Sewanee Review, The Hudson Review, The Dark Horse, Agenda, The Hopkins Review, Commonweal, Literary Imagination, The Oxford Book of Poems on Classical Mythology, and others. His latest book is Virgil’s Eclogues, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010. Forthcoming: The Carmina of Catullus, Carcanet Press, 2015, Afterimage, Measure Press, 2014, Rilke: New Poems, Boydell & Brewer, 2015 and Ovid: The Amores and The Ars Amatoria, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014



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