Alison Koffler

Hall of the Red Earl

The camera seizes moments we’ll try to bring back home: 
                oiled pools in a cobbled alley, storefronts painted lively blue 

and yellow, an abandoned window lost in ropes of ivy, 
                and thirteenth century rubble unearthed by new construction 

and glassed-in for our view, beneath this modern city
                rising around medieval walls.  The air is rich with stone and salt.  

From a sports bar, human voices, and in 4/4 time, the ache of a 
                roving fiddle tune.  What we carry with us—joy and ragged sorrow—

takes on different shapes in this unfamiliar place, in varying patterns
                of light, while the river rushes too fast, under gray stone bridges,

joined by roiling tributaries, pouring past rusted spillways,
                a spume-lashed turmoil, out to Galway Bay—

wild to meld, to join that horizon of cloud-ribbed sky.

Alison Koffler was the recipient of the Green Heron Poetry Award in 2011 and was the 2016 winner of the Bronx Council on the Arts’ BRIO Award for poetry, having won it as well as in 1993, 2000, and 2006. Her poems are included in A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley, SUNY Press, 2013 and Like Light: 25 Years of Poetry & Prose by Bright Hill Poets and Writers, Bright Hill Press, 2017. She lives in the Bronx and Woodstock, NY with her husband, the poet Dayl Wise, and their dog, Cole.