January

1

The wind my alarm clock.
The wind staking a claim
In the backyard today.
The wind whipping up
Herds of archangels:
Low-level fly-overs, elegant
Slow rolls.
The wind slamming the puck
In the pond hockey tournament
On Lake Nokomis today.
The wind chaperoning the clouds,
Agitating the fish bones
Of twigs in the backyard
Against the sky’s gray solace.
Nodding yes and no, the branches
Waver in indecision. Who
Is piloting the ice boat
Suturing the lake ice?
Where are the organ pipes
Of hollow logs? The leaking
Diaphragms of windows?
A slow draft of cool air
Gasps across my shoulders.

2

Saturday, somebody left the rain on.
The ice will resume later.
The thaw is a hand around the throat,
The stall-warning on the Aeronca Champ,
A temporary fluctuation into snow
Like tracer rounds in the wing guns.
My fever returns in waves —
A nap, sweat, a rhythm to longing.
Pine boughs down the hill go white
With frost. If there is no wind
How will we survive the coming freeze.

3

Flurries and wind,
Wing and crow,
The leavening of
Fresher snow.
There is quiet in the house.
There is coffee and
The haze of snow
Swirling like gnats
Above the roofs.
Some days a look
In the mirror is enough.
Some days six inches
Of snow.
Some days they pull
The plows. The wind blossoms.

4

A little sun
Lights the way
For crows. Call it
The magic of
Distance. Call
It the gulf between
Desire and the
Fever that pulls
Me forward.
The trees cross
Branches all
The way to the
Mississippi.
The air is un-
Gelled in the
Afternoon. Visi-
Bility is a con-
Tinent. Delicious
Curve of the earth.

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