pompom hat

the closet cleaning clothes boxing of your discards
meant to make me feel
lighter; the sadness not in the clothes
themselves nor even in this evidence of time
passing, sizes changing, personalities tried on and rejected
perhaps
a sense of failure in restraining consumption
in training care and appreciation
though the hat is not even the best emblem but merely one
of the last in the pile, the pompom salvaged for when
you decide to wear hats again
rather than this handful of ravaged spangled spandex
that was for one brilliant night a prom dress

opening

because in this closing of the year
i find another narrow door
to slip through—somelight
like you came into the world
all pent-up fuss and bother

more than true for once desire
to escape without admitting it—
sometimes
proclaiming it—

now these boxes and ribbons
become remembrance, smoothing over, wrapping up
and making pretty
ordinary, how mothers and daughters fit together,
spool apart

Unfurl

hope like arugula sprouts
big enough to be seen
from a second-floor window

*

cat out and leap-chasing
shadows—sparrow, crow,
flick/sway of still-bare branches

*

water wind-rippled in bird baths
sometimes sun-shimmered, reflecting
on redbud bark

*

that april blizzard and how
we could see again
smooth-swirl snow on rooftops,
dollops on red-budded trees

bird, dog, cat

it happens
from time to time, a mystery
small bird in the house

junco wild-flight hurl at glass door
falling stunned; sparrow
parked on pantry, peering
black-eyed over the molding

how it spent a night in the mixing bowl
how I caught it in the curtain, heart beating
flutter in my closed hand
how the dog whined and pointed
how the cat had grown bored long since
the gift already given

Thaw

we’re down to icy slush, footstep-shaped
margins of grass or sodden islands
sudden lakes, squished plastic bags
sidewalk-washed downstream

the dripping we heard overnight a dream-
breath of spring, sheets too warm
the same winter birds but heard
with the door cracked

how things get ugly before getting better
like a healing bruise, the heart
churns, chugs, pumps again and
in winter’s dreg-end we sweep away
the debris