Sometimes early in the early winter morning
the cold sky is just as he saw it.
Clouds, grey and while or pink, pearly with the early sun
and framed with winter trees, like besom brooms or fir trees
or twisted twigs, black against the miracle morning sky.
The untouched blue that will change, deepen with the light of day.
Yes, just as he saw it.
How he stood in his heavy woolen coat trimmed with bear or beaver,
His feet in good moccasins fashioned by some Kanawake woman
and a fur cap to save his ears from the roaring wind.
How he stood to look, to remember the moving clouds, the piled snow
the native, the trapper and the basket woman and the habitant.
Far from his Dutch still life studies. Here he stood to remember and render
this sky in his studio. Pictures to sell to the British soldiers
To the landed French.
Ah, did you know Cornelius that your cold Quebec skies keep company now
in old Beaverbrook’s Museum with Constable, with Gainsborough and with Dali.
No care for that now for the wind is cutting this early pearly-sky morning.
Here I stand where he stood, under the Krieghoff sky.