Five Points, Vol. 2 No. 2Winter 1998
From Reynolds Price, “I was a child who followed the line of praise… If you told me I was wonderful at writing, I immediately started writing with both hands and both feet to prove how right you were.”
Homage to Winslow Homer
Wringing out her heavy woollen skirt,
a tall girl with one dripping flaxen pigtail
stands, head tilted to clear
the water from an ear.
Not too far beyond her on the beach,
six, seven, eight small boys—they form a troop—
splash, boast, shriek, leap, skip stones.
Beyond them, it’s just possible to spy
clusters of little girls in twos and threes
sitting, heads together, on the sand.
Or else, still grouped, some stand,
stockings off and ankle-deep in water.
One holds a doll;
one points out to another
the pink and glossy inside of a shell.
The pale cool noon lighting a northern summer
glazes it all,
sails on the horizon, dancing water.
Wait. Since the girls are turned away, and small,
part of the background of this painting, how
can I be so sure what they are doing?
I have been there.