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.