These Solitudes
Anne Mckay
Joe Nutt

through the narrows seamen towing moons and nightcargo

path of the raptor threading the sun

singing softly 'run rabbit run rabbit run run run'

surging drumbeats quicken the moccasins

that message in green glass returning on winter waters

deft fingers find the dark pain

purple crocus piercing the snowcrust shrill wind

three times a dream of the knife

through waveglimmer beneath the prow a shearwater skims

today the flowering of the olive branch unnoticed

afterwards leaves and a mourning dove drift to earth

caught by a southerly tail of the dragon kite

strawberry moon puppy's perfect point at the clutch of eggs

again the pale smiles of summer strangers

late beach party rising voices drown one another

no hand now minding the lighthouse

time of the aster early snowcloud muffles the sun

the wood waiting cut and squared

her need her warmth gathered against winter

ice on the bridle the halter freed

with a promise of bells sleigh skimming the snow meadow

sap in the bucket plup plup plup

and children wild round and round the sugarshed

dronings deep in the hive

past midnight lights from her greenhouse still

rising firefly falling star

just before dawn the signal the last crossing

after the guns (that silence)

bending she makes her gown a basket berries redseeping

the flag faded now her soldier's grave

soft with moonlight wings of the stone angel

frost white the trapper's breath

snowshoe hare snowy owl one shadow

these solitudes sealed

skunk cabbage blooms at the cave's mouth she-bear and cub

again to the honeytree