Hudson River School from the Train, 5:00AM
A stillness at dawn
as the earth turns its face to the sun.
The river wakes,
its surface ripples and murmurs,
breaking the first reflection of the forest
that colored the wet canvass.
The treetops wave in slow motion,
as if stretching their fingers to make sure
they can grip the sky for another day.
Spring buds whisper the faintest of green,
hanging on for dear life
at the very fringe of the breeze.
Mist dances on the river deck,
breaking into pillars that twirl and lean,
white dervishes that barely speak
as they emaciate before dissipating upstream,
their supporting role in this scene
finished for another morning.
Far shadows rise at the light
as low mountains appear on the skyline,
no longer just black hills drowning in the darkness.
The curves and plunges of the highest line
define them as something more
than just a wall reaching for the clouds.
This scene unfolds before me,
scrolling through glass on a railed frame.
I find no gilt surrounding the picture,
just a slow conversion from absence of all light,
brushed through a sepia transition
into the lighted grace of God’s ungated gallery.