November hymnal (14)
The sea stone sets down on the sky’s lobby.
Only the birds pass through it; their feathers
Still remember when they were scales.
The star has sent a poem to commemorate
The occasion. It’s the same poem every star
Composes. That every civilization has waited for.
The family pauses between house and car.
One of them points upward. A thousand things
Still alive in the trees and underbrush see
A thousand different families.
The birds rotate the stone like gears and snow
flecks off the stone as if God were sharpening
A great knife on it, to cut through the pile of burnt
Trees. To cut through ignorance, doubt, faith.
Four years later the house is empty. Sunlight
Streaks through the lobby and is arrested by
Clouds. Night falls. The star’s poem finally arrives:
“Too late!” reads the entire poem. Because they
Always have to be right, stars have few words
To work with. The sound of birds traveling through
The sea stone is like that of snow on steps.
The sound of stars composing is like a shovel on a walkway.