Robin Chapman: "White Canoe"



                        —after Peter Doig’s painting


Where do we go when we die?

That frail craft of body

drifting on the dark lake,

woods rising up from the far shore,

stars falling through rippling water,

light scattered from the sentinel trees,

multiplied, refracted, in the lens of the night—

white emptiness of boat and below,

hazy, reversed, the soul,

bird of passage, carrying the whole

into the echoes of all we’ve known.



Robin Chapman’s ninth book of poetry, Six True Things, will be published in 2016 by Tebot Bach. She is a recipient of the 2010 Appalachia Poetry Prize and has recent work in Alaska Quarterly Review, North Dakota Review, and The Common Online.