acorns spackle a plot
of grass, denting the earth
with such humble perforations
not one is destined to rootand
and yet their collective persistence,
their uniform, haphazard conglomerating
whets the fertile expanse
of the damp and formless ground
so many puncture wounds—
guarantee against finality
If we could have read the moon’s face
through the falling snow
that night we drove into its absent shadow,
it would have told us that the cold
sometimes melts things, too.
The train station, under hazy yellow lights,
fills with travelers arriving for Christmas.
We drive home with our father,
a faint smile crooked in the low end of his mouth.
Because the road hides so much,
more than once, Dad mentions black ice
the way he’d repeat an argument
until we understood. But when the car,
spins momentarily toward the guard rail,
he anchors us—and we are held
by his steadiness, which, for so many years,
we mistook for other things—
discipline, scolding, but mostly anger.
It’s time now to take this lesson
and file it safely under black ice,
reluctant blessings, how our father,
silver haired and breathing slowly,
saves his children’s lives yet again.
A poem from Four Blue Eggs, images from London
Last August, I spent three wonderful days at the Wellspring House in Ashfield MA. I’m grateful to have had the space, time, solitude and solace, which allowed me to finish the manuscript for Reconnaissance.
or geraniums, depending
on if I call it by the number of stalk –three –)
or by its potted home: –one – white enamel
ridged like waterfall rocks)
whether it is coming or going.
Likely, someone has turned
the thinnest frond
toward the light
of open window; someone has filled
the pot with too much water.
The Phillis Wheatley Room