Winter Road I
after Georgia O’Keeffe

It’s not exactly a road,
more the idea of one
and maybe not even that,
a symbol, a cedilla,
this mirror-written C
that sweeps across the canvas,
kinking at the top,
where Route 84
mounts the crest of a rise,
before bending to the right
and heading further on up
into the New Mexican hills
which, as it’s winter now,
are blanketed by snow
that the ploughed road
crookedly parts.
There’s only the road itself;
everything else is implied.
I think of her painting it,
as a calligrapher might,
with a single, practised stroke,
the road between
Ghost Ranch and Abiquiù
so familiar to her now
it’s become the shorthand for home.


Stephen Claughton has published two pamphlets, The War with Hannibal (Poetry Salzburg, 2019) and The 3-D Clock (Dempsey & Windle, 2020). He reviews regularly for London Grip and links to his reviews, poems and pamphlets can be found at