I walk through snow and woods to see
Trees collapsed in each other’s branches,
Held aloft by a notch or twig.
One has snapped in two,
Its splintered shards rising like
Pikes and steeples;
The trunk bent over
Like a gate, or a bridge.
To me, it looks forbidding.
But the dog wades out,
Through nettle and thistle,
To the bridge of the broken tree.
She will return, covered in thorns.
It will take me an hour to pluck them.
Some trees land hard;
Others are caught up in another’s embrace,
As if it had been waiting
For that moment all along.
So much happens where I walk,
Peacefully, among trees,
Where, at all other times,
Deep Winter (2012)
Other people flee to warm climates
Sustained by anticipation.
And though this winter has been mild,
(I think I’ve shoveled twice)
I see nothing to photograph:
A bare oak in a field,
Vacant nests among branches;
A red-tailed hawk perched on a wire
scanning the ground for a meal.
I feel a sense of loss
And the beginning of the flu.
Memory does not serve.
A bench in winter, covered by snow:
My thoughts, far from God,