After nightfall an anonymous sculptor
and helpers install a statue below a Fairhaven
bluff. As platform, they choose the jagged
tin boulder surrounded by water at high tide.
They balance the statue perfectly on one foot,
and bolt it in to older metal. The artist calls
the statue Grace. She points one arm to sea,
trails the other to meet leg curling up behind her.
Formed of silver bands wrapped around steel
core and heart, she’s untempered and pure.
Grace is silvery fine and fair, and appears
to be a dancer–her stomach is taut, her limbs
long-muscled and lean. A friend tells me Grace
is in a standing bow pose or dancer’s pose.
To me she seems prepared to leap or soar.
While Grace is lithe and limber, she is caressed
by salt water and air, and her carbon steel
is in certain decline. When the sculptor returns
and takes her from us, he will leave this artistry:
however we choose to picture or embody grace–
in repose, or as a dancer prepared to soar or
leap, reclining, or as an elder walking with
quiet dignity–we rediscover grace. Grace
resides in us, and remains available always.
“Grace” is reprinted from the 2012 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest Chapbook, 2012.
Andrew Shattuck McBride is a Bellingham-based poet and editor. He has poems published or forthcoming in Platte Valley Review, Magnapoets, Caesura, Haibun Today, American Society: What Poets See, Dreams Wander On: Contemporary Poems of Death Awareness, Generations of Poetry, bottle rockets, Mu: An International Haiku Journal, Prune Juice: A Journal of Senryu and Kyoka, Shamrock Haiku Journal, A Hundred Gourds, The Bellingham Herald, and Clover, A Literary Rag. His poem “Grace” won a merit award in the 2012 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. He has edited poetry collections by Washington poets Cathy Ross, Seren Fargo, and Richard Lee Harris.