Moira Linehan: “Late in the Late Years”
LATE IN THE LATE YEARS
Driftwood, Winslow Homer, 1909
It’s about time. The years, now late and there’s all
that still eludes him. Before him, beneath him
the roll of the ocean, again rising up
out of its bed, a yawn from fathomless depths.
Pulled out of bed this morning, he went straight
to his studio. Below, a water-logged tree trunk
lies wedged into the rocky cove. Last evening
it was not there. Its girth, wider than the man
in rain gear who stands over it, a thin rope
looped a few times over his left shoulder
and under his arm. Beyond, the ocean
again at its moment of filling and rising.
It’s 1909, the year before the man
at his easel dies. For now, between his eye
and brush, all that is yet beyond him.
Moira Linehan is the author of two collections of poetry published by Southern Illinois University Press: If No Moon and Incarnate Grace. Her third collection, Toward, was published by Slant Books in 2020. Dos Madres Press will bring out her fourth collection, & Company.