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Photograph of the Temple of Hercules, Agrigento


At the site, my chief thought was to pose

my daughter, standing there where these eight shafts

support a frieze of air, for photographs;

and I forgot to look for the pale ghosts

who built the honey fluted ribs that rose

from the stone spine of a sleeping god, his roof

blue sky.  She stands between columns that dwarf

her nine years, toes the backbone of Kronos'

grandson, in a red dress:  Having come

that far, two thousand years, I might have tried

to picture in the Doric monochrome

a washed-out earth whose first blue was undyed

heaven; for whom blood was the prime redó

whose gods, overexposed, lie dormant but not dead.


Deborah Warren



(c) 1998; originally printed in the Cumberland Poetry
  Reprinted by permission of the author.

Background by
Lewis Eaton

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