Such a quiet night: even the moon is mute
above the sweetgum trees.
And she is imagining a great mercy
talking to her out the earth's heavy heart, as though
the willows and tupelos are stretching out their arms.
While the moon is nestling into the shallows
of the oxbow lake, bathing itself,
cleansing itself, as though every joining
returns you to the womb.
Until she is like a child again listening
to her mother hum.
The powdered remains
of the moon are falling
as snow beyond
the loblolly pines.
The widower is dreaming this.
The snow covering the field
like a discarded snake skin
that disintegrates in your fingers,
as though the snake
is attempting to reassemble itself
into the field.
Or he is dreaming that someone
is coming toward him
the black hair unmoored
in the night sky
while he is walking through
the snow blowing
as mystery beside the river.