Tuesday, December 28, 2010

To Remember

In my old bedroom
Looking out on a leaning pine,
I stop to rest,
And for a few days
Carve out a time
That is both old and new.

At dinner, a wooden spoon
Scrapes the last bit of rice
Into the blue-patterned bowls,
And I sit with mine
In a way I remember to do
Over the white-tiled table.

Walking with you now
Down streets I know,
I see geese against a deep red sky
In a way I do not remember.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winter Movement

I cannot help but stare
At the pale gray sky
And in bas relief, those few branches
Tipped with a faraway spring.

There is a moment
When my breathing quickens
As geese pour across the sky.
And clouds break off from clouds.

Before Christmas

I am flying
Towards the full moon of winter
And on the lightest of clouds
I am hurtled
Into a sea
Glittering with the lights
That will lead me home,
To curtains that billow
And the still white walls.

When we are alone,
My mother strings
Yesterday's lights
Over a tree
That is half my size
And the song she sings
I have heard before,
Of birds in twilight,
She tells me now.

I am surprised
That in all these years
I never thought
To ask what it was about.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Winter Light

I can count
On the beams of light
In shapes not taught
In high school geometry
And the way my eyes
Squint at the whitened birch.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Library

In the silence of the morning
Among shelves of well-used books,
I see the few snowflakes fall,
And the brown stalks swaying
With parched winter green.
Once, I had huddled
In musty stacks of unread theses
Over diagrams thick with the cycles
Of carbon and life.
Now, my pen scratches,
And I hear the leafing of pages
Against the tap tap of keyboards
And a well-modulated whisper
Heard above my breathing.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The White Scarf

I can see the white scarf
Swing over her shoulder
And the practiced flick
By her small hand.

Nothing has changed.
She will go back
To the house
With the winter tinsel,
And in the quiet of the night
She will wait for him.

It is the same.
She hears the door,
And the heavy steps
Come closer in the dark,
And his voice,
Thick with glasses emptied
At the corner bar.

Under her scarf
Last night's marks have gone.
She turns and smiles,
I'll be okay, doc.
Thanks as always

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I am slowly sinking
Into a hole
Whose bottom I cannot see,
And on walls that encircle me
My hands grope for answers.

Soft against the sky,
I see the outlines of a tree,
One familiar to me
In a past life
That was only yesterday.

In the approaching twilight,
My tree inclines its silver branches
Towards my reaching hands.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Beam of Light

My morning has gone
Leaving behind
Only the leaves
In a cup
Once full of tea.
I take my cue and sit
In the unshuttered light
Of a cold day.
The whir from the wash
Is my companion
Now that the cats
Have fled
To the far-flung warmth
Of our heated house.
Sitting there
For what seems like seconds
I am carried
On my soft breathing
Pausing to notice
When a beam of light
Smiles on my lap.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Canadian Geese Sighting on a Monday

I had the Monday morning thoughts
Of patients and their stories,
Each pair sitting side by side
In limbo
Waiting for its proper label.

I left the warmth
Of my mildly dented Corolla
For the unremitting gray
Of the clinic's parking lot.

With winter wrappings close about me,
I heard a ragged chorus,
Sustained through the sky,
And saw a seamless procession
Carried on breezes not felt below
As it sang for the first time.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The First Snowfall

With the first snowfall
My cardinal returns.
He alights on his tree
Out of an instinct
I could only guess at.
He stays awhile,
Testing each thin limb,
Half-hoary in sunlight,
Settling on the one
Unbowed by his weight.
I look up
To see his absence,
And in his wake,
The only red I see
Is the stop sign
On the street corner.