Tag Archives: winter

Six late winter mornings

Six late winter mornings

1.
It’s the underlined day
On the calendar of forgiveness.
But I cannot make the call.

2.
I get up early
To let the dogs out but

It’s too cold–they stay on the porch
As if waiting for a ride to pull up

Or a drink. I walk to the back yard
And relieve myself

Against the frosted grass.

3.
The black rabbit
Lounges in his hut

By the family vegetable garden.
He often rode on the back of our dog.

One day he lay on his side,
Not waiting for the morning

Or for us to find him.
He was finished and he went.

Leaving only a stiff black shroud
And the sound of birds.

Winter leaves like that.

4.
In our blizzard-crafted snow cave
We almost died

But the snow plow missed us as we hid.
Years later, my childhood friend Marty

in his capacity as a civil servant
of the public works

Tore up a curb with his plow right
Across the street from

Where we’d once schemed
How to pay for the garage window

We broke with a barrage of snowballs.

5.
After an early March storm
I snuck out before my son woke

To make lumps in the snow
Like snake coils surfacing.

Over breakfast I swore
I saw the Loch Ness Snow Monster

Out the bay window in the plow drift:
When we went to investigate

He discovered a large egg
Of ice, snow, and dirt

By the edge of the plowed pile.
He demanded we take it inside.

We put it in the freezer
To see what would hatch.

6.
Spring grows over the winter
Like a scar

The hurt season’s swelling
Diminishes

We almost over-reach for it
As if we prefer being sore

Over forgetting, a cloud
Ceiling over empty blue sky.

Poem to be read in the middle of the night (i)

Poem to be read in the middle of the night

In the daylight the wind in high branches
can at least be seen if not heard

In the spring it will regain its voice
the trees will put on their hands and applaud

Their applause is what we hear
The performance itself slips through ungrasped

December 30

December 30

 

All winter the days will grow– into winter’s death
Where light and darkness equal out.

Penultimately just nine days in it serves us
To pretend the end of anything–

So make your list. Sum it up
Like any cat lifting its tail to spray

Against the furniture. Already the leaves
Hiding like a punchline to a joke not yet told

Are laughing at how quickly the living forget
The cold, the weird verse of numbing wind

I hear in my mother’s painting of snow
And sunset, starlings on the highest branches

Of black walnut, as light as the best and worst
Of any year, as gone as the dead who won’t come back.

Meditation on an empty field

Meditation on an empty field

The winter field’s as many colors as kinds of loss.
It gets no bigger but grows every year.

There’s still sweet green, scuffed gold, brown verging
On yellow. Things beneath with code for new color.

Where the digging root took deep hold, maple and oak:
Identifying grief is like recognizing trees in winter

In this season of missing. Look closely.
There are months to learn them all. The wind

through this one is my name, your voice.

Near the End of the First Winter of My Sixth Decade

Near the End of the First Winter of My Sixth Decade

Through a brick-lined alley where I read my life’s sentence
I step over a rivulet of snowmelt that flows behind me into the past

walking with an open cup of coffee in a soft cold rain

Winter Sun

Winter Sun

Sometimes it’s the other way around,
though most times the winter sun does x off x

by which I mean, you glimpse it baring the soul
of a whisper of empty branches or scrolling a message

across exhausted snow crusting a street corner
and you see reality, suddenly, not in a new way but an old

way in the way the winter sun is old, it’s been burning
so long after all maybe you think not with the heat

it had as a younger sun when everything grew green
beneath its gaze till a hemisphere turned its shoulder one

season and that was it, but sometimes it’s the other way
around, things can be cold and burning at once,

sometimes reality sees you, and it’s blinding.