a hermit’s list of difficult gifts

these clock-bound free hours,
boxed-up belonging, a tribe,

or pillows, rings, antique bed,
collection of complaints
graciously left unsaid,

or unreturnable words.
your wing-wind, sail-wind,
trust, approval, consent,

or I-love-yous tossed out
at the door, bright smiles
when one is heart-sore—

or come, and stay
or I’m coming to stay

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On Houseguests and Crochet

You come to meditation by thread
and hook, shutting as many doors
as you can between smiling
frustration and the rise and rise
of voices—smoke-deaf, she tends to loud
and knows something
of everything—used to solitude
you now crave it like drink
stealing sips in any dark corner
stitching round and round
because you can
use another pair of socks
and it’s too early for bed