Looking at Andrew Wyeth’s “Squall”
I thought there could be nothing more chilling
than Hopper’s “Room by the Sea,” that white door opening
to waves in a house hovering over a geometry of water,
the pale-green walls, brown floor, red settee and polygon
of light in the back room its only hints of refuge.
But in Wyeth’s “Squall,” an even fainter hope slips away —
the path of gray steppingstones through a door
offering no escape from the one window’s ravage of sea,
an unassailable sky and rolling froth defying
the day’s weak light along the sill. Just a pale wall between
holds out against the storm, a slicker hooked stiff
beside a scarf with binoculars dangling from
a well-used strap that must have sparked the urge
to see, once — some scan of horizon with an eye for distance,
patches of blue, the blur of fleeing gulls.
Steve Dieffenbacher’s full-length book of poems, “The Sky Is a Bird of Sorrow,” was published by Wordcraft of Oregon in 2012. The collection won a ForeWord Reviews 2013 Bronze Award for poetry. His work also has been published in anthologies, chapbooks and magazines. He lives in Medford, Oregon.