The Nesting Boxes

Gray skyscape closes,
but we still scatter
as the gathering time nears.
On low branches
you mourn the waning light —
sapphire wings wreathe
these hallowed places.
I want to be more than wallflower,
but too-swift movements
recall shyness of early seasons,
and so I go still –
hardened roots and tendrils
explore the soil’s cold crumbs.

But listen!
Today the wind is from the south,
and so we drop soft and sacred notes
to thaw the frozen air.
Soon the snow will mask
these worried veins and ridges,
and our cupped hands will collect
summer breaths harvested
and saved in glass jars
to guard against December’s
hard-toothed edge –
one portion of a promise.

Despite the seeming stillness,
we cannot hide from the vow.
So we must slip something –
a pen,
a book,
thin edge of a fingernail –
into the crack.
Keep the thing from closing in.
Disguise ourselves and wander
down ice-edged paths.
We push away the tempting night.
We keep the watch.

Though the others might favor fire,
we hold to blood and faith.
We will not forsake these wild places.
As the clockworks trace the face of time,
we stand amidst the nesting boxes
that conceal blue feathers, rusted breasts.
Collected seeds fill the hollow hungry gaps.
We watch, and listen —
and when it seems as if
it might slip
into frost-kissed forever,
we join our voices,
dropping soft and sacred notes
to thaw the frozen air.


About Emily

I may or may not have: A. Dirt B. Ink C. Paint D. Wool under my fingernails.

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