In another time

I am waiting
forest, riverside
where the sky’s color has drained
to fill the trees golden
canopy, hushed, leaf carpet
where the maples lean together
where I last saw the wild rose.
Younger, when I had no heed
for thorns raking flesh
nor savored any delight
but your command
for quest, complete, rewarded.
Never young enough again
for any of your power
to transform these scars
into patience, like tree-roots
sink and drown

The Very Last Fall on Earth

or why the brilliance
or why have we not
noticed not grabbed
and held in our hands
ideal of ripe life
with no trace of crumble

enough? for the eye
to skip from sky
round crimson clusters
and still green grass
gem-strewn with

that light we can’t
(it has been before)
too warm too dry
too full
to take in
deepest breath
of the day held
and held
to bursting

Building the Dollhouse, Part 2

cream paint today—Buntlack
in the German which reminds me
there’s no hurry, not for me
(rain sounds like peace and wind
can’t rush it away)

if you’re a little older than when
we first dreamed up this project
that only means your skill
and taste have improved
but then I wonder

(the geese fly over
again the rain sighs
and stops)
if some twelve years of after-
adjustments have made you

want to leave these details
to me and should I be glad
you don’t mind?
we can’t be free of second-guessing
in any season

To those who will live in this house, afterward

Give it life again. Be bold
in empty rooms the echoes are stilling
of what we made, what we talked over,
plans, the building of it: paint, floors,
curtains, yard. Wildflowers, vegetable rows,
perennials now overgrown with vines.
Get to know each creak and pop,
the cold corners and where a breeze will be
most welcome. Which window bursts pink
with bloom, which frames unfailing tulips;
how squirrels run the line
from garage to house with stolen tomatoes
or the neighbor’s peaches. The deck swept
clean and awaiting fall of maple leaves,
the golden slanting light; here a cat
might like to bask or seek shade.
Where snow will drift and pile,
how ice can encase every slight branch
of the crabapple, every perfect red fruit