Saturday, December 10, 2011



Much rain and the first December cold snap
left waters overflowing and glazed slick,
on this day when the sun, like a stranger,
finally showed its firey face from dawn to dusk. 


The frozen marsh, dotted with flotsam and jetsam,
jutting trunks and faraway ducks, reflects the sky,
recently laundered and spread tight like a plain, blue sheet.

Life and death suspended together and locked in
at the edge of these icy waters. And I wonder
how Life does its miraculous carrying-on
under this thick, glass ceiling, under the cold mud,
under the rotting logs half-submerged. 

Only oak and beech trees rustle their leafy instruments,
hailing me alone down a trail of surrendered leaves.
The historical marker tells me this wetland
was once a fur trading business. And I wonder
how different it was before all that blood and commerce.

Up ahead, cardinals drinking from melting puddles
are like fallen clusters of ripened fruit. And I wonder
how something so vivid and beautiful can so often
be taken for granted, flying around our yards
and picking at the salt by the side of the road.

And the two brilliant bluebirds, so out of place
in this brown and gray landscape,
yet so perfectly placed for me to see. And I wonder
who tells these delicate, feather-painted creatures
to stay for the harshness of winter months.