Spring rinses & shakes out
Our filthy sheets of snow
Six months a river
Why does it tremble
As we learn to walk again
Nothing disappears that you already see.
How come crows are dark manes of stars
And you are mostly freedom, mostly longing
Between your unruly days,
The rampant nights of your raven hair?
Or, is the universe, like you, a swan
Who swims at night through every river we’ve seen?
For your sounds float. Your silences sing-song.
And you hum in your other room
As your hands clean the knife
That cuts the fish inside its heavy air
Which in silence we say to each other
We do not feel except for that
Catch of wind that quickens, then
Gives way between the cleave.
Minus 28. Snow adds up.
But stopped for crows holed up in hackberry trees,
Feathered with muddy rust and winter wheat
Almost like doves, I thought,
Wanting something more.
Minus 25. Faces blush.
A strip of sky is ribbon pink,
as if earth comprised at least one ring.
Or a dancer, spinning and spinning,
the edges of her swirling skirt grazing
the white lacework of snowy branches.
Sometimes the world is made of music
the colour of our cheeks.
Cold stunned in brightness.
Roofs hunched under casts of snow.
Trees leave tracks in whiteness.
Houses sit in plumages of vapour,
as if trains, waiting.
And up into the sun of the city,
bell in the cathedral,
your staggering silence.
Write in the cellar
Pens and frozen pipes
to be something
planted in winter,
a hand-full, the weight of that
you picked-up, late summer –
your favourite tree?
You’re surprised, a
delicate word so airy
in your hand,
that one would write all night
to be picked again
To you who wants to be held
but not contained
because the ignorant mind
the reckless freedom of the heart,
tonight my last wish is that
you come down to the cellar,
kiss my forehead and ask
out of the blue
when will I plant that
little house in the yard
for the birds
that are coming back.