Up as usual in the dark.
An invisible woman starts to patch the day together
On a snow -quilt in front of my window.
A solid geometry of housefronts
Stiffens to attention: fledged pelts of hemlock
And spruce darken: dollops of snow grow to gleaming
On yew bushes and the rhododendron. The shadow
Of the paper-boy passes, his sack dangling
Like the seed- bag of some dawn -striding
Nineteenth- century farmer whose head swells with
Revolution. Moonwhite the garden lightens
And the moon, a peeled clove of garlic, pales.
The day quickens cold on my face when l open the door
To let the cat out and see the small explosion
Of snow in the child’s raised hand who stands
Across the street with his brother, waiting
For the school bus. Every particle a seed
Of light. A bluejay bristles on the fence, his
Harsh anarchic screech rattles morning. Like old
Hand- tinted photographs the world is taking shape
Out there: beige, olive- drab, bleached rust
On a sepia ground of air, the houses fatten. The trees
Grow shaggy dark, smoke -green, ricepaper white
With a faint flesh tinge of pink, and every second
Something changes colour, texture, shape, and words
Can’t stop them. What are those old iron leaders
Thinking, I wonder, who lie awake at the waled-in
Heart of things in the big world, grizzled infants
Of history who strain to catch that dim murmur
Behind the centuries of wax in their ears. Do they
Imagine their own heartbeats? Does light go
Only to show them the whites of their eyes?
In Derrylin the mourners, more and more of them,


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