I thought I would see a flutter of feathers,
a streak of blood,
maybe some bones.
The fox in the night would be satisfied,
or the hawk, or the eagle, and I would lean against a tree,
and I would feel the loss, the empty space.
Instead, she greets me from a spot far off on the lake.
She stretches out her broken wing
as if to question my intention,
my coming, my watching.
Her body shines in the copper light.
It is difficult for both of us,
the endless floating in dark water,
the waiting eyes,
the pale, cold sky
Every day the clutching branches of ice.
And I have come to love her. It is difficult,
the ice like lace, the glow of her neck
as she arches back upon herself,
the desolation of the sky, and joy,
the wild joy that blossoms toward us in the dark.
Go into the woods
and tell your story
to the trees.
They are wise
standing in their folds of silence
among white crystals of rock
and dying limbs.
And they have time.
Time for the swaying of leaves,
the floating down,
They have time for gathering
and holding the earth about their feet.
It is something I have learned.
How they will bend down to you
They will bend down to you