Winslow Homer, 1878

The wind grows new forever
on this hill-top. I watch
the leaves swim backwards
in their cave-deep daub
of cloud behind you,
loving how the soar
of sun you stand in
perfects the bright dial
of your shoe-buckles,
and spills into the lapse
your hands inhabit,
quietly as shells. The greatest
loveliness might be now,
though, when I see slowly
that this sudden freshness
has heaved through everything
the portrait pictures,
except your gaze. You
are here and elsewhere
in the same escaping breath.
Or else imagining, then, after,
that perhaps you wake to it
when the picture finishes,
this ordinary thought you hold,
which the painter wondered
into sunlit nearness, so
you are real and remote
in the way that gull-shape is,
which lingers high above
your dreaming head,
flung to the world
in a veer of blue.