The birds are quiet here.
They do not shout
or bang about the window openings.
They are discreet
and twitter from a distance
screened by shrub and fence,
minding their business.
All my life, someone
(first my grandmother, Yorkshire crude,
then my parents, too tough to tell,
and now my sister, gray like me)
has brought me one
and put it – small – in my hand.
Open the box,
push aside excelsior,
lift from thin paper wrapper
and slice: an Easter egg, chocolate nut.
And then – as does myrrh’s bitter scent,
released when the jar’s unstopped –
its fragrance feeds me
And snow again
Today the world is white orchids and ice pellets
and I am waiting to remember.
Here are stiffness and exhaustion: words that conjoin
after a five-month winter.
There is a clump of purple crocuses, though one of the birch trunks
is in the way. You can see it from here.
I want to be clear. If you lean forward you will see:
soft amethyst tubes closed tight
take the cold wind from the storm.
It will be May.
You see her looking out an upper window.
Her hair is blond and up, her skin
a pale reflection.
She looks down where they play
then up, across
the flat, white, sunny plain.
Use talent to remember this. Engineer it.
For her the treeless afternoon, for them the snow.
For you, her.
So many near misses.
Air opens as bird swerves away from car and I am grateful.
My child floats her soul down the street,
unaware that subtexts bear her onwards,
that she is held up by thought-bubbles:
miss u, meet u, dear you.
Wait for me. I am almost there.