Breaking Beauty (Erica)

The day gives no hint

that anything

will be different.

Same cold, frosty, dark

start to the winter morning.

Same drivers rushing

red lights and slender streets

made even narrower

by crowding heaps of snow.


Then I turn a corner.

And everything changes.


No longer

on city roads grimy

with the residue

of ground snow and dirt,

I am now

in a Wyeth painting,

the world transformed

into a canvas

of breaking beauty.


Morning sky splashed

with fiery orange and deep pink,

church steeple

a perfect centerpiece

to the dramatic sunrise,

cityscape rendered golden

and picturesque

and renewed.

The sentinel trees

on the walkway

bridge land and heavens,

roots held fast,

limbs reaching

with aching fragile longing

for the infinity of sky.


The pure blue and white

of the cove’s frozen low tide

spark contrast,

fire and ice,

igniting and cooling,

primal forces converging

to take me

out of myself,

breaking me open,

turning me into a geode,

exterior roughened

by years of care and wear,

but glowing inside

with the wonder

of a child,

sparking and glittering

with the new day’s light.


I know that

soon enough

I will close back up,

a protective measure,

but part of me

will also stay

cracked open,

just a little,

still shining,


to let in life

and joy

and possibility.


It is a new day.

by: Erica Bartlett

Aram Mitchell

Renewal in the Wilderness, 20 Roberts Street, Falmouth, ME, 04105