Monday, March 1, 2010

March and Jamie Wyeth

Kent House

Late winter days break up these shoals, sea’s crumbled portal
Of rock.
These seed-husks of rain’s ritual,

Cracked and split, spill down sky’s
Cloud-battle to find rest before the war-weathered door
Of Sunday’s locked house...

For all of them, or for a part of all of them, the Kent House
Stands as she (eternally “she” mothering the sea) is door
To shadows, piled hard and sharp, on this wave-high rock;
Her Cape Cod dowry of gables serves as wind’s portal –
She who will rest secure in the stoniness of a lonely March sky;
Her muttering gutters echo winter’s last gasp. A yearly ritual
Of Sundays, now past land, Rockwell’s dream house waves him on.

All the shoreline was a prison for Kent, rapping her door
In a cold, uneasy sleep; all winter’s night long she would rock
The cradle of ocean’s grey desolation to impart all
Her matronly slope of roof, her bosomy porch, blue with sky,
Anticipating the Ides, signal day of ritual
When Rockwell comes at last, resuscitates the house
And Sunday goes by, Mars sinking lower into evening’s sea.

When Rockwell observes his Kent amid the repetition of rock –
The mother of us all. “ And I stand, at birth’s portal,”
Rockwell jests, “’Tis Spring!” Above him, an aquamarine sky
Already floods her pent up rooms. The old ritual
Of removing white slip-covers like cob-webs around the house
Kicks up evidence of mice and summer’s hibernating odor.
This Sunday, before bed, perhaps Rockwell banks a fire with less ash.

The sea throws the last of its icy catch up the beach, the sky
Begins to shed its skin, and as the shoals show off their rich jewel,
An heirloom freshly coated with caretaker’s spit, they unhouse
The scenery’s barnacled, monotonous march: her door
Has waited all winter to yawn at sun’s warmth unlocked from rock.
Changing bed sheets, Rockwell is born again through each room’s portal.
Sun, day, mind and sea all rest as Kent House makes peace with March.

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