Last night when blue moonlight
glazed the snow I watched
a shooting star streak across the sky
its startling silence in the breath-clouded air
and thought for a moment perhaps yes
that could be you but how
when perched on a rafter in the barn
the owl suddenly shivers its feathers
how when the red-tailed hawk
glides above the field in the dark?
A Beautiful Snowy Day
What if all we wish
we had said in our lives
began descending from the clouds
as snow, each flake "I love you"
from that sullen neighbor boy
kicking an ice chunk down the road
that fell from the wheel well
of a passing car, flakes whispering
"hold me," "I have tried," as the widow
dries the one plate and places it back
in the cupboard, as the driver pulls
the gas gun from the pump at the station,
snow spiraling toward the streets
and fields which are filling now
with a certain softness as the swirling
hushes and sighs in what might have been
a wind but is instead the breath
of mothers, fathers, friends, spouses
partners, sisters, brothers, so many
who are waking from a dream
in which they could not speak, a dream
in which their mouths were frozen closed
and all they could do was look around
at the snow and go on with their baffling, silent lives.
A darkness joins me each day
out into the fields, past the ponds and along the swamp.
It leaves me in the cool, thick pines
then returns on the dirt road next to the corn field.
I've become as quiet as this darkness,
silent as the sunlight pouring over the field.
The weed and I understand each other.
The lone tree in the middle of the eighty acres,
I love the mornings and the evenings,
the edges of light and shadow,
how the trees become charcoal drawings
on the pale paper of the sky,
the bee balm and lavender bloom of clouds behind them.
How the silence pools at the base
of trees, exhales the suggestion of night
into the air where six geese etch a line
across the empty sky.
Yesterday the trees sprinkled leaves
along the path in the November woods
and once from a gust the leaves
under an oak swirled upward
and became a flock of sparrows