This Winter Morning

Reluctance to leave

the envelope of bed, reluctance.

But the whirring and humming,

revving of the mind

(faithful engine, reliable horse)

harasses the body into obedience,

and for good reason.

There is wood to cut, snow to shovel,

ice to melt, water to boil,

pots to be washed, plans to be drawn,

ragged roads to salt and plow.

There are the needs of children,

the old, the sick, the animals we keep,

the ceaseless demands of the things of man,

waiting, all waiting for the poet

to pocket his notebook,

waiting out the idling of dreamers,

the sinning of saints.

But then there is this winter morning,

the spell of first light

cast upon the architecture

of the world-house –  

white, silver-gray, speckled russet, evergreen.

The buoyant glow of all the lamps

in the windows of all the houses,

the owl in the tree who thinks I don’t see him. 

And with the deliberate symmetry

of this snow falling, so neatly, so tenderly,

how can I do anything but stand and stare?

How can I do anything

except surrender everything,

put down my sack

of worldly accomplishments,

turning my face to the sky, grateful

to have known such a morning.

2 thoughts on “This Winter Morning

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