January

To linger in dreams
Is a dangerous pastime.
But at the switch,
Suddenly,
Everything changed.
The ink freezes
Before it hits the page.
And I must breathe
On the end of my pen,
Or scratch out
Invisible messages.

Releasing this
Sustaining dream,
I learn to live
In the real again.
And as the horizon solidifies,
The geese hunker down
To wait it out.
Some kind of meaning
Ties these together.

Everything feels empty
And I must
Somehow imbue
These meaningless phrases
Of passing acquaintance
With feeling.
It has to matter more,
At least to me.

And the sun,
She keeps a low profile,
Grazes the oak grove,
And casts long shadows
Across my wandering.
So we look for each other
Out here,
While the others stay,
Safe,
Indoors.
We are so few now.

I’m not prepared.
Four decades,
And still
I have not learned
To double up
When the digits descend.
Each season
Revives its own
Hard lessons.

But those of us who linger
In the open –
We are hard and heated
And we have learned
How to build a slow fire.
Hawks and hunters –
We listen
As the geese grow
Mournful.

We have turned enough with it.
We understand winter’s history.
And we know
These little hungers
And minute pains
Will pass.
And if our breath cannot thaw it,
The spring will come
To the ink,
The sap,
The blood.
Then we can be dreamers again.

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About Emily

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

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