Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. — Leonard Cohen
She holds the yarn in fingers
Slim and white as birches lining the shore.
The yarn, a twist of colored strands,
Brown, scaled cones,
Gray, water-worn granite,
Bitter-yellow beech leaves,
And silvered blue of the lake’s wind-swept mosaic.
She knits the colors into a forest fabric,
Soft purled hills like ever-traveling swales that ripple inland from lakeshore,
Knit stitch vees, crotches of forked aspen and elderberry where orioles nest.
She shapes sinuous sleeves
And a windbreak collar deep as the cedar copse.
A dandelion seed, piloting the wind,
Lights on her wrist.
Deftly she grasps it between moon-white nails of forefinger and thumb
And plants it in the next stitch, one furrow from the finishing.
She’ll wait for the first rain and,
In the meadow, slip it over branch-boned arms.
I tend them carefully, these broken ribs.
In the bath, a warm amniotic fluid,
I’m no longer heavy as stone,
empty as a broken cage.
What remains are shards of songs,
faded feathered dreams,
all that could pierce the heart--
And the ribs?
Better broken than ossified.
After all, what can escape an unbroken cage?