Patricia Clark

Grand Marais Estuary, in Fog (after the painting by Stanley Krohmer)
March 16, 2020 Clark Patricia

Grand Marais Estuary, in Fog (after the painting by Stanley Krohmer)
Color of ice, or heaps of snow, gray-blue, slate.
Texture enough to point out land, two spots,
but catalog the rest as sky, wave, or in-between
where all reside, even us. How far
we’ve come from home to stay at a hilltop
cabin riven with mice, brush burrs
from the dog’s coat, find a place in town
to eat whitefish and hear the tales
while the proprietor pours pinot noir
noting our clothing, hair, and diction
as non-U.P. but still acceptable to him.
We made the pilgrimage when Jim was still
alive, regaled him with one or two repeated
stories—one about Ulysses, another a sledge
struck at a deer. Or was it a bear, in town?
The place laps on without him now, the bay,
the bars, and in our town a stand of staghorn
sumac turning red again where we took
photos of him and us—the giant a monument
before collapse, sprawled across his studio floor.

Patricia Clark is the author of The Canopy (2017, Terrapin Books), her fifth book of poetry, and three chapbooks, including Deadlifts (2018, New Michigan Press). She teaches in the Writing Department at Grand Valley State University where she is also the university’s poet in residence. New work is just out (or forthcoming) in Cave Wall, Lake Effect, Plume, upstreet, Blackbird, and Barrow Street.