#169 THE ELECT by Jean Nordhaus

The sun has chosen one piñon to exalt,
one tree from a forest of others,
as when, in a film, the camera will select

one face to focus on, one girl
to follow in her progress
through her soul’s adventure. And now

a mountain bluebird has alighted
on the topmost branch of the piñon
like a Christmas angel—and now

the bird has flown, carrying away
the sanctifying ray of light, so the tree
is once more just an ordinary piñon

among others. And the girl,
without the auteur’s gaze, is star
of no one’s movie but her own

with no beam of light to hallow her,
no camera to peruse her face, her every
gesture with the eye of love.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland and married to a native New Mexican, Jean Nordhaus lives in Washington, DC but sojourns frequently in Taos. Her books of poetry include The Porcelain Apes of Moses Mendelssohn (Milkweed Editions) and Innocence (Ohio State University Press.) She is currently Review Editor of Poet Lore.


2 thoughts on “#169 THE ELECT by Jean Nordhaus

    1. this poem reveals the delicacy that is all too often forgotten in our unique New Mexico landscape, juxtaposed with the struggle of a young woman to escape the all too prevalent objectification of women by the men of past and present generations.

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