For My Old Self, at Notre-Dame de Paris:
fluctuat nec mergitur
The dark madonna cut from a knot of wood
has robes whose folds make waves against the grain
and a touching face-noble in side view,
impish or childish seen head-on from above.
The wood has the rich stain of tannin, raised
to all-color lustre by the steep of time.
The mouths of her shadows are pursed by time
to suck sun-lit memories from the wood.
Freezing damp and candle-smut have raised
her eyebrows into wings flung up by the grain,
caught in the light of bulbs plugged high above.
She stands alert, as if hailed, with beasts in view.