Saturday, March 3, 2012


artwork: ralph murre

Therese’s Balcony
by Dan Wilcox

On a morning such as this,
on Spring St. in the grey morning air.

On this morning as I look up
hoping to see you at your window
I see your blue towel on the railing
like yesterday's sky left out
to dry in last night's rain.

On a morning such as this,
in Paris in 1911, in Springtime
when the morning is still with mist
on the Rue D'Avila, M. Atget,
with his box with glass plates
his magic wooden cabinet
traps his tiny Paris, tiny buildings
in tiny mornings.

On this morning on Spring St.
I watch you close your windows
and come out on the fire escape.

On a morning such as this
M. Atget gazes up.
As she steps out on her balcony
the steam from her tea coils
to rise with the morning mist
through his lens she is upside down
her white dress seems to hang in the air.

You watch morning come to the city
I watch you touch your hair, your lips
your hem brushes your feet.

"Good morning," M. Atget calls, and asks her name.
"Je m'appelle Therese"
the mist begins to burn off
he wipes dust from the lens.

"Good morning, Therese; how beautiful..."
"Yes, but it will be hot soon."
On a morning such as this
when the lens closes she is gone.

When M. Atget looks for her again
in the flat plate of glass
the cloth on the railing is grey
like the morning hung out to dry
but she moved and is gone
a white mist left on the glass.

On this morning on Spring St.
I want to touch your hand
instead, my hand touches
the morning, you wave;
it is as if I will always
see you like that
on a morning such as this.

~ first appeared in Open Mic: the Albany Anthology
(Hudson Valley Writers’ Guild)