August 2000

Geraldine Connolly


Geraldine Connolly Geraldine Connolly teaches at theWriter's Center in Bethesda. Her poetry collections are Food for the Winter (Purdue University Press, 1990), and Province of Fire (Iris Press, 1998).She divides her time between Maryland and Big Fork, Montana.
In Praise of Dawn   

You can keep afternoon and its dwindling mysteries,
twilight with its seedy hauteur. You can have night
with its phony neon and rented motel rooms.
I prefer morning when the air is so quiet the rub
of a cricket's leg sounds like wildness beckoning.

My feet pad along the carpet like bears' paws
along a stretch of furred moss. The cherry tree
catches the first glint of gold in its deep green.
The kitchen is mine, empty and humming.
I am queen of the breakfast room, empress
of a new regime. Ideas sprout from my head

like bursts of startled blue jays. All possibilities
lie before me in the rustle of leaves at the window.
Something extraordinary is about to happen—
I could write an essay on forgiveness,
or construct an altar to Artemis with five red
maple leaves, a fish bone and a snake's rattle.

I have imagined dawn lifting her skirt, the limousine
of night pausing to release debutantes in important
gowns. I have watched schools of light
emerge from a window's shoreline and know that
beginning is always beginning, every midnight open
to a river of mornings, the day a fresh tributary.

Anything is possible: understanding quantum physics,
making plans for an innocent city. Pain could disappear
by sundown. Night could wear a sunlit dress.
We could start a journey to the new Jerusalem,
waving good-bye at the station where the trains pass
and dawn, blank as a newborn, floods each window.



Geraldine Connolly: Poetry
Copyright 2000 The Cortland Review Issue 12The Cortland Review