The iced trees still reach skyward,
their sheathed branches waiting,
the crystal water sparkling like
a million earth-bound stars,
so many miniature spheres of fire
yet nothing melts.
The thing that covers us in grief,
ashen and blank,
covers us golden.
Through the course of
preoccupation with understanding
I keep shadowed
under the canopy of a forest
built with efforts of every shape:
goldened oaks, and old worries,
fired maples and malcontent,
bronzed birches and weeping brokenness,
flamed crab-apples and crooked-perfection;
the leaves are snapping free of the twig,
while mistakes release to the noisy wind.
Watch, watch the light beam through branches,
all barreness revealed and revealing
the turns of days and nights
growing and sleeping under the steady skies,
the reciprocity of love’s vulnerability and strength,
its whispered song of faith.
“Mom, come here, Mom,
come here a second, Mom.
Look out the window. D’you hear that?
Bird? D’you hear that bird, owl? Shhh, listen.”
Then he tells me,
“Your lap, Mom. I want to sit on your lap, Mom.
Fall asleep on you. Ok?”
“Yes, coming. Just a moment.
I see, yes, I hear it. Mourning dove, I think.”
Then I tell him,
“Ok, sure, yes, come on.
Ok. I love you, too.”
And I listen to every word he ever tells me,
over and over and
again. And I think about being held,
and always being held, about
tenderness and constancy,
and fear, and having someone to run to.
And I think about blessings, and being blessed.