THE EVOLVING CITY

Linda Pastan


IN THE SHADOW OF THE CAPITOL

It is a January spring here
in this marbled city, famed
for its flowering fruit trees,
its monuments, but carved
out of pillars and blocks
the color of ice.

Today our representatives
are back, noisy
as squabbling birds
in their aery of offices,
while in the street below
a woman spreads

her brief belongings
in this freakish heat, to dry.
Nearby we go about the business
of culture, climbing
the monumental museum steps
to a place

where the weather of each canvas
is different; where discrepancies
become surrealism and history
an arrangement of colors; where
as in a hall of mirrors, we see reflected
all the exquisite questions.

 

 

Linda Pastan's 12th book of poems, Queen of a Rainy Country, was published by Norton in 2006. She was Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991-1995 and has been a finalist twice for the National Book Award. In 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.

Published in Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 2007.

 

Read more by this author:
Linda Pastan: The Whitman Issue
Linda Pastan
Linda Pastan: The Wartime Issue
Linda Pastan: DC Places Issue
Linda Pastan: Museum Issue