Winter Prompt #13
We raised our wands and remembered—happiness.
Not easy for us, whose families were marked,
who could do things sometimes with a careless word.
The time Mother made me a chocolate cake
for no reason? Fetching firewood in the forest
with Dad, and he taught me to drive the tractor?
Making love on the stony hilltop, with hawks
floating above us on their way to warmer lands?
I raised my wand again, and again.
All around me those beings of light springing:
deer, otter, fox, crow. Don’t get mad. (Easy for you
to say, who can summon the dead.) Keep trying.
Late that summer night, climbing over the locked gate,
crossing the railroad bridge, silence everywhere,
rounding the darkest corner, fine rain
clinging to the pines, then the circle of light
around the lamp in the parking lot. Exspecto
again, and from the tip of my brittle pine wand—
(Ah! That’s why it chose me!)—
a meadow vole rises, carries me
to safety under the long wet grass.