Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize
Home Curators Recipients


I strip by the spillway,
            taste dawn’s copper light
                       in the sweet-and-sour leaves

of the sorrel weed. Whitman’s beard
            unravels in pond mist.
                       His voice rasps through cattails.

The night his words first flared
            like sparks from the page,
                       I said to the dark: I, too,

will indenture myself to lightning;
            I, too, will trace constellations
                       printed on the sky’s carbon paper.

Last night a drunk friend
            blamed Whitman for lighting the torch
                       that guided planes into Manhattan’s towers. 

This morning Canada geese squawk
            like radio talk show hosts
                       before skidding into pond scum.

A bass snaps at a dragon fly
            suturing the air with blue thread, its wings
                       shimmering like stained-glass splinters. 

In the hush between waves,
            the mist whispers:
                       I know they claim I’m blind

as the cloud erasing itself
            on water, as the moon
                       with a gray eye patch.

I know they claim I no longer shoot
            sunlight out of me
                       against sunlight breaking into me.

But I, too, am a sun
            pacing streets that are hospitals,
                       writing letters home for the dead.

When mist clears, a muskrat slips
            from the willow bank, unfurls
                       its signature on water.

The sun prints a line
            with its boot soles across the pond
                       for anyone to follow.

By Henry Hart
Recipient of the 2010 Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize

First published in Blackbird Spring 2010 Vol. 9 No. 1
Copyright © 2010 by Henry Hart

© 2006 Carole Weinstein. All rights reserved.