That man in the field staring at the sky
without the excuse of a dog
or a rifle—there must be a reason
why I’ve put him there.
Only moments ago, he didn’t exist.
He might be claiming this field
as his own, centering himself in it
until confident he belongs. Or
he could be dangerous, one of those
men who doesn’t know
why he talks to God.
I thought of making him a flamingo
standing alone on one pink leg,
a symbol of discordancy
between object and environment.
But I’ve grown so weary of inventions
that startle but don’t satisfy.
I think he must have come to grieve
a good friend’s death, and just wants
to stand there, numbly, quite sure
the sky he’s looking at is vacant.
But I see that he may be smiling—
his friend’s death was years ago—
and he might be out there to savor
the solitary elation of having discovered
what had eluded him until now.