Monday, January 27, 2020

If Ever We Climb Ascutney

The specific way that breakfast can be sacred. One gazes into the pasture where boundaries appear that a year earlier did not exist and wonders when if ever they will be free of conflict. A few weeks after his stroke, my father tried to apologize for not supporting me as a poet and we both cried but oddly the issue was not resolved.

Walking up Main Street with Chrisoula, clouds laying flat on the near sky like rotting fish, here and there a glimpse of soft blue, like the light in a dog's eye right before it dies. If ever we climb Ascutney together, do not let me forget to tell you about the first time I climbed Ascutney. Warming our hands by the fire, sharing both a blanket and a sense of what's possible.

You can stumble for hours through snowy forest before seeing a cave mouth glowing in the distance, and all your stumbling will suddenly serve a purpose. Who thinks about death, who does not pause to ask why they think about death. We demean Her when we do not acknowledge Her anger and unsated sexual hunger.

Remember that house in central Vermont we looked at, lingering over an aerial view that somehow calmed the discontent that rises in us when we think about going back to Vermont? Once meant cannot be undone. I return the saw to the barn, pausing to note how cluttered the barn is, a mess alleviated by the sweet and comforting scent of hay.

What is given to be said aloud can now be said to bluets and stars and trout without fear it will be mislaid or fail to propagate. Coffee, scones, yesterday's clothes and nobody injured thereby. What is the difference between night and later that night?

We "take down" Christmas. A sense one has of looking for the next sentence, as if it were circling the room like a speck of dust straddled by pillars of sunlight. Yesterday's mud freezes, our telltale prints dusted with snow, reminders of how rarely life bothers with straight lines.

We rise to a last kiss and linger in it without intent. Coming home I hear church bells, car wheels against the rainslick macadam, and birds I do not know the name of singing in trees I cannot see.

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