The pond is frozen over, fountain bubbling beneath a crown of thick
ice. A friend brings food and a red poinsettia. She tells me bluebirds
have returned to the river. This garden is a dance of sparrows,
chickadees, finches, juncos ~ and each day, a visit from the hawk.
I shop for long underwear and thick socks. The dogs shiver on their
beds. This sky opens so wide, so blue at midday ~ but the days are
narrowing down. Why now, in this quarter-moon, pre-solstice darkness, does my old
body hum with forgotten desire?
Sometimes the sky is a van Gogh sky. Once I saw a dragon there. Yesterday in Thailand the people sent lanterns up into the night sky with all their sins and sadness. What is my share of the sins of our leaders? Is there a lantern for that? Tonight the moon is full and the sky is thick with snow; falling stars for all the burning children.
This morning I woke to the smell of winter, thinking of you searching for hope. Where are you looking? In the bodies of women who are strangers to you. In rice fields and temples; in classrooms and markets; in the dangerous sea. Though this valley is bare, the mountains hide in a thin veil of snow. If I set a place at my table for all my dead, will they come? I am waiting for hope. I know you are there, but you are well out of sight.