(January 3, 2011)
It is the month of ravens, the season
of liquid light. It has been a long year
for golden tigers, and I cannot bear
to be without you for another day.
My tracks freeze in their place, there is no more
getting away. Even my shadow is
brittle. In the great spruce behind our house,
three ravens squeak rusty nails out of iced
bark with their cawing, change positions as
they ladder up branch by branch, but the one,
I think female, is first to find the top.
Yesterday, after the snow came, the sun,
behind a wispy smudge of cloud, shimmered
dreamy and moonlike, and a lone eagle
wove its way across the steel wool sky like
the shuttle of a loom. It is the month
of coal, of burning cold. The charred raven
brings its gift of fire to all those who
freeze. The crystal sunlight turns into ash.
I am left to ask, “What brings you to me
in the night? Will the knit of need and knot
of time hold only when arms and legs are
woven tight?” My fabric frays without you.
Here in the slant burn of the winter sun,
in the black and gray grit of frozen thaw,
I climb the stark tree of mind, limb by limb,
into the murky sky. Each day away
from you, I ache in the hollow of my bones.
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