For Sylvia-Down in Adoration
You were Fulbright a seismic enigma
the fleet foot hare rising in pastel dusk.
It stalked like crows in the breast of a man
who sold your head for hapless wanderlust.
Your damage was like splintering of glass.
Could he not understand what it is to be
a milk jug, wasted lipstick, the outcast
shadow hung from a star-struck hemlock tree.
But a quiet voice is so more loquacious
than a risen phoenix roaring through air.
Maybe now is the time for tempered hush
time to weave your bridal crown through red hair.
He brought Devon sea shells to your headstone
you were his lotus his night passage glow.
For Jane Kenyon
Ten years on, while storm buffets glass and juniper,
snowflake tiers inside my porch
finger an army of miniature baubles.
The plastic robins perch lopsided. Even
that new star, a rushed afterthought, curtseys
on its axis where a black one legged doll should be.
Dear Jane I never met you. But I guess your mother
was at the station with pasteboard suitcases—ready
to sew broken limbs together again.
Now as I make end to season,
with more than a single strand of tinsel,
I nest plywood angels and churches
for a woman who breathed cypress and pondered why
only nightjars or silver fish
knew how to take shadowless flight.