Various Authors 11:30 a.m., Feb. 20
A single fruit had clung to leafless limbs
- A single fruit had clung to leafless limbs
- The entire month of ice and freezing rain.
- It split in places round, as though seed comes
- Out of season anyway and could retain
- Some power to impregnate the unreceptive earth
- Below, as though it simply need delay
- And wait its turn for miracle and birth
- To breathe again, and by its own long decay
- Persuade the sweet and hidden world to bless.
- It half persuaded me it spoke the truth.
- I stopped and watched the muted light regress
- Until inquisitive as a summer moth
- I circled it in a maze imagining
- The frost, the stars, the huddled birds all sing.
Anniversary Poem for My Wife
- These lilies illuminate the woods on our day of light,
- Discovered unexpectedly and Bengal bright.
- Seeing them here transforms the path’s formidable ground
- Into an original garden flowering unrestrained,
- Where intimate rocks and rivulets pour moss and mist,
- Whispering from that first thesaurus our own enchanted list
- Of sacred names, of kings and martyrs, prophets, saints,
- All pressed in a thirst of vellum the hungering paints.
- This upward walk to find the water’s hidden source
- Along half-eroded banks and leaning trees is ours.
- Begun with a hushed half-laughing breath at the base,
- Where the falls and winter ice or winds efface
- The bold basalt, its slick ascent has left agape
- Even native maidenhair, oakfern, and Oregon grape.
- But now we know the climb, have heard the depth above,
- Its steady swell to brimming time and trembling give.
- A squirrel is running Qs and Ls above my head.
- I’m listening to confirm it’s really not a rat.
- The sun is up, and light like a warm butter’s spread.
- But I must be sure before my toast only that
- Another cold outcast has not snuck in to feed,
- Has not begun to call my walls its board and cot.
- And so I get the pellets out and move the seed
- Just a little to one side, the usual spot.
- The evidence is there. She’s made her little bed.
- Some quills and leaves, gnawed wire and hair packed in a knot,
- All gray and brown and black, but for one long pink thread.
- I lay the small dingy bowl down and measure out
- A quarter level cup, just as the instructions said.