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Alan Harris reading

Still Life

by Alan Harris
Sunday mind
picks up its pen
behind easy-chair eyes
when, three inches left from a
stained-glass cardinal hanging
red against the window glass
from a suction cup and hook,
is seen a real dove outdoors
fluffed up for warmth
on a telephone wire
amid almost no
snowfall.

Glenn Gould's
Bach Toccatas
play precisely through
the furnace blower's bass
while an off-duty iron
stands unplugged and cool
beside its folded handkerchiefs
on a flimsy-legged ironing board
between here and the brown couch
that bears a draped gold afghan,
throw pillow, and open briefcase.

Eyes divert
to a tiny white nick
in the near edge of the lamp table
and stare for measureless minutes--
then return without reason
to the window.

The dove hasn't moved, nor has the
window's cardinal of glass perceived
this breathless snow, so light
as to be nearly finite.





From the book Knocking on the Sky (1997-1998)

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