I see the golden leaves
fluttering in frozen wind,
I feel an empty sky,
the circumference of joy is hard to find.
I catch the cardinal’s red flash
under scattered bits of sun,
I know the cracking cold,
come cold winter, come.
Backing down the drive we see snow and sleet on the cold stones and grass,
evidence of winter’s long-clutching grasp on Ohio.
We head to church, the grocery, back to church school,
and finally home where we hang coats, store mittens, and wash hands.
We dice red onion and cooked chicken,
slice black olives and grape tomatoes.
We layer the crust with olive oil, basil, mozzarella,
and all of our dicing and slicing while the oven heats.
The tomato bisque is ladled into glass bowls,
and the leafy salad arranged on ceramic plates.
There is talk of croutons and pizza,
strawberries and yogurt, and even melted chocolate.
Our little ones have already eaten a bakery cookie and a fruit-laden cereal bar,
but they come to the table anyway and tell us how they would design their menus and present their dishes.
The littlest one asks to read “The Little Red Caboose” before nap time,
and as I near the end, he presses his cheek to mine, his strawberry breath forcing my mind toward spring.
In the blazing heat
the trees and grasses golden;
they are candleflame and firelight.
In the shimmering cold
the frogs and crickets amplify;
they are thunderclap and echo.
In the winding cave
the dripstone spikes lengthen
into mountain and valley
where the heat blinds and the cold paralyzes,
the climb and the cliff wear and scatter,
abandonment and fright surround;
I can not see, and yet I know
the living light that radiates within,
illuminates the cracks and begs me to begin.
“Any man who follows me will not be walking in the dark: he will have the light of life, says the Lord.” (John 8:12; Universalis)