Irene Mitchell


All it takes is a bit of sunlight
to call out the jays.

Four rabbits and a pullet
have now been spotted
and will soon be presented to the cook
who yesterday saved some pheasant feathers
for a hat.
Not at all foolish.

The sky is mauve with a dash
of yellow, the horizon as clear
as a verb’s declension.
The wash will be washed this afternoon
and then the interminable drying.

I know these visions now as alchemy,
enticing me
to save the formula,
erase, resume scribble,
erase again,
change the subject.

I know this plan now as abstraction
and am poised
to finagle today’s offerings
as if there have never been
any reminders
of the negatives
brewing each night
in the soul’s darkroom.

Irene Mitchell, a long-time teacher of English and Writing in inner city and rural New York, is the author of seven poetry collections. The latest, Irene Mitchell: Selected Poems, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2021. Formerly poetry editor of Hudson River Art Magazine, Mitchell is known for her collaborations with visual artists and composers. She was a recent Associate Artist in Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.