Remembering how she loved them,
how she stopped and marvelled
at their tracery, their canary convolutions,
a nest of tangled sunlight on the forest floor-
I send a photograph of this year’s bounty:
trout lilies in the wood, sepals lifted as in prayer.
She returns the gift with hellebores: dusky rose,
palest green and white, arranged inside a curve
of darkened bowl. Last week’s snow woke them,
dappled in the cool of mossy places. Such small
adagios. Spring stirs overtones, sips beginning in
a whisper of circumference. She awaits its overture:
my mother knows each harmony by heart.
March Comes In
The predator month arrives already
hunting. So late the hour’s early,
March rakes its claws across the sky,
rending fissures flashed and strobed.
As with any nature show, this soundtrack
stretches out suspense, then booms cacophony:
pouncing, it rips arteries from necks of cloud,
torrents geysers drum-rolling on the roof.
Dog trembles, knows something has awoken
ravenous, caught his shaking scent. March
waits outside in downpour, whisker-twitched
and crouching, ever-ready to Spring…
Early Spring, North Carolina
Soft, the door of morning
swings, unfurling silk:
narcissus, tulips, daffodils.
I sound out their language,
whisper tongue to petal, tunic
shed, I try to conjugate a bud.
My walk meanders past a stream
that’s mid-soliloquy, improvising ferns
and jessamine, small scatterings of snowdrops.
Here, the taste of daylight,
traced with dew. There,
the water’s undulated song.
be a witness.
For Robert Hurwitz, musician
You have modulated now
into another key, a chord not
diminished or augmented
but a different mode, still undiscovered
by our human mathematics.
You never said that death would be a part
of larger composition, but the silence
left behind; reverberation after a conclusion,
that sense a spreading skein of light’s
diminuendo into dark.
Yet I find, in these gray days
which follow winter rain, I hear
as if dotted on the wind,
astringent notes of finches, defiant flutes
that perforate the clouds.
I can still read the notes
you left inside me: a progression
without parallel. I, your youngest
daughter, fifth in family, your almost
Now the air of you nocturnes
my pulse, and so I sit here,
breath stretched and strung to bridge
across your rest. Beneath my skin, I feel you
spreading out your arms,
as if waiting for forever