window and cloud

by Cordelia Hanemann

a conceptual poem from:  Cesare Pavese “Prison: Poggio Reale”

      a small window
on the sky does not calm the heart
someone may have died there
in the meadow of tall grasses
outside       trees and clouds and earth
and sky     up here       only a whisper comes
and blurred sounds
      the empty window
does not show the trees beneath the hills
the river winding off in the distance
the water as clear as the breath of wind
a man is lying face down in the tall grasses
but who notices
      that lonely empty window
a cloud appears        and lingers in the square of sky
it must see stunned hills and houses        all
hearing death nearby in the grasses         in the air
it must know lost birds flailing in the sky
people pass quietly along the river and no one
notices      clouds birds houses hills
      in the small window
the blue is empty now        into it falls the cries
of birds breaking the whispers        maybe
that cloud touches the tree       or sinks into the river
the man lying in the meadow might feel
the breathing of the grass        but he does not move
only the grass moves
      but the window does not see it

Cordelia Hanemann, writer and artist, currently co-hosts Summer Poets, a poetry critique group in Raleigh, NC. She has published in Atlanta Review, Southwestern Review, and California Review; in best-selling Poems for the Ukraine and her chapbook. Her poems have won awards and been nominated for Pushcarts. She is now working on a novel.

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