Nunc dimittis by DC Reid

Poet name: DC Reid Poem title: Nunc dimittis Poem: It is morning and I am kneeling in the garden - Patrick Lane As if forsythia were a yellow pathway through wandering air to the face of the girl in Vermeer’s painting asking why her fine skin cheek is afraid. As if the last river gorge of Atlantis were a silver ring of silent blue water. As if Picasso’s African women of Avignon could turn to horses and their snorts leave the Austrian Wittgenstein, the German Heidegger, the Husserl in their endless coming to now? Am I genuflecting in the garden? I don’t know, but three griefs I cannot understand: the small Teresa, fingers spread to and away from awakening; a mythical god’s insistence on joy; the splinter of rose emerging from my face. Ours is a cold country, and espaliered fruit in southern sun makes it no less cold, on the most august day. Can the windmill undo its spiraling? I would like to know. As if green tomatoes come after cold, before the girl’s cheek, one who walks green water, arbutus skin that peels like pages of a white book. Would you, if you could tell the girl how it will be, that her painter is the residence of her questions, the dry river gorges of Osoyoos, of Keremeos? I return to the garden and my feet touch not the ground. Green tomatoes rise into my hands, the girl’s windmill, hydra blue against blue of windsock, full cheeked on neck of land. Can a pearl be afraid? Her windmill turns to me and asks whether it may now take its leave. End of poem. Credits: Copyright © DC Reid "Nunc dimittis" is forthcoming in Selected and New Poems, 2021 and also in the following book of poems: Canada, a Country of Poets DC Reid is a past president of the League of Canadian Poets and the Federation of BC Writers. His most recent awards are the National Roderick Haig Brown Award for sustained environmental writing and best poem in the Love and War Anthology. DC is also a fly fisherman with his fifth fishing book, A Man And His River, stories of 25 years spent on the Nitinat River, Vancouver Island. He is at work on his 11th book of poems, Canada, A Country of Poets, and an anthology of poems and poets, Hologram for PK Page, with Yvonne Blomer.