A Rower Muses be the Winter Fire
‘Might I, then, fool winter’s hoary breath
With flashes of summery remembrance
When, past fields, wild with harvest,
I went to the river rib boning
Through the countryside.
Frightened mice alerted chipmunks
As I compromised their territory
With my presence. They could not know
I meant no harm. Man is, after all,
Alien to them. Among the marsh grass,
Thick, next the river, an egret stood,
Still as the grass,
As it sensed the movement of darters
Just beneath the surface, terrified,
By the shadow of slender elegance.
‘I slid my shell from shelter
Onto the river, setting off a pair of mallards
Quacking toward a clump of grass.
The jeweled feathers of the male glowed
As sunlight stroked them, tenderly.
The ribbon of river S’d before me,
Like the Universal Spiral. I smiled
At the thought of the possibility
Of being an intergalactic rower
Spriraling across a star-crowed sky,
Though I rowed deep in the day.
‘The egret stabbed its bill into the marsh
As I stroked the skin of the river with my oars.
The marsh grass shivered round where the egret stood.
The river purred at the touch of my oars.
Suddenly!, I was brought back
To the fire in the hearth, by the sound of my cat
Purring curled in my lap.
Winter’s breath rasped on the window’s glass
Where stars of crystal sparkled
In their sky of frost.’