It happens like this.
As much as I’d like
To slow it
To stall it —
Suspend it in amber
Until there is time
For scrutiny —
It is always escaping
Like the treetops
That slip in and out
Of the fog.

The days wear on us,
And it is not the winter,
But the lack of it
That leaves me
Like the riverbank —
Gone soft at the edges
And missing solid ground.
Slip under a current
That should not be.

You’re doing it again,
She said.
I know.
You should not be here,
She said.
I know.

But it happens like this.
And I wish you were here
But hidden.
And I wish you here here.
And I wish you were not here.

The butcherbird traces circles
‘Round the hawthorne.
Someone calls from the fog,
But I can’t place his voice.

You chose these chains,
She said.
I know.
It is all wrong, wrong,
She said.
I know.

It happens like this.
Let me learn
To hold my tongue —
To embrace silence —
To hold my thought —
That this fog
Might encompass
What I will not confront.

See the water?
It rolls between
Thin ice edges,
Emerging from cattails
That whisper winter’s secrets.

Immersion —
So cold,
So tempting.
I can already feel it.
The ice edging my lungs.

You belong with us,
She said.
I know.
But still, you must wait,
She said.
I know.

And it happens like this.
Geese emerge in gray lines.
The harrier haunts the overgrown hedgerows.
Light grows and color reinforces itself daily.
It is a chaotic season,
And out in it,
I can’t tell anymore
If it is thawing
Or freezing.


About Emily

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

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