Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hunters in the Snow

1. From Memory

Old Bruegel drew them from memory,
arranged together on the winter hillside,
their rifles held just so, walking softly
on the crust of snow between bare trees
on the downslope. I can see no farther,
imagining far down. A painting can’t hold
more than its frame allows, but frames
are made to order and by the painter.
None of that mattered to the hunters.
Why they were there only they knew.
You can’t even see their faces from here.
How could you know what Bruegel saw?

2. A Painting

None of the town is up here. There are dogs
following these men. How could you know why?
You see birds on limbs; one flying has wings
maybe inherited from pterodactyls.
There are figures on both sides of a river’s
ice divided by a land bridge. The bridge
built by men holds one soul walking across.
Up here, three hunters, one in shadow,
all going down, two others staying where
they build and tend a fire in back of . . . whose house?
another busy doing what I’ll never know.
Those far away live under the mountains.

(24 March 2013)

copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander

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