I Can Say Now That Things Are Not What They Seem
after “Velocity Meadows” by Mark Strand
Standing on the porch and hearing your shovel
move early snow to the rocky side of the driveway,
I feel December’s cold flicker like a tossed mane.
Moon’s light reveals our slanted snowfield,
while the drawn-out call of a train drifts
over early winter. Wind spins a frieze
of clouds that briefly close the light.
You interrupt your labor to watch me
test my quad cane on the snowy step.
Our neighbor’s muted lamppost tempts
me across driveway’s icy chasm.
I think of all that I have lost.
What comfort is there when life puckers
its lips as if to kiss, then steals away, taunting?
I step off the porch into snow’s white lines
that sift, whisper, revise the world.
An owl cries from snow-tinged trees
out back. Slim light from stars gathers
at the gray fence line.
Your windswept warnings.
My precarious footfalls on fresh snow.
(Published in Small Print Magazine, Summer/Fall, 2014)