Bas Relief Is No Relief at All

 There’s a red-tail hawk whittling away 

at a sky gray enough it could be said 


to need consoling, someone to take it in 

their arms, say There, there, and promise 


it won’t always be like this. But it’s not 

shavings of sky coming down, just rain,  


and nothing anyone could say to you  

could make you believe all it would take  


to make everything right would be  

to cut away all that’s wrong.  

George Looney

George Looney | WHAT LIGHT BECOMES: THE TURNER VARIATIONS | Red Mountain Press Poetry Prize, 2019