Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Winter Gig in Sutton's Bay

In line with my "Pentimento" entry below, here's an old poem of mine, from a time I went up north in winter to do a (rare) Creative Writing in the Schools gig for Duncan Spratt-Moran. The snow was so deep that I had to park on the road, and Duncan and his two daughters met me there with a sled to take my suitcase in, through a snowy path in the woods, to their beautiful house. It was dark and I remember starlight. One of Duncan's daughters, about six or seven at the time, endearingly took my hand to guide me. When we got to the house Duncan served broccoli, tofu and peanut stir fry in front of a big wood stove and the next morning made fresh ground coffee before I went off to meet the kids. It was a wonderful experience and I still remember it fondly. But I was a little homesick, too.


Up here it would break your heart to see how
the little cherry trees bend against snow.
My mother said purple is the color of grief.
These white hills cry out longing, longing
and the jagged row trees click and bow.

I miss you and your city eyes, our love
faulty neon where nature's on the lam.
I think these fields love their loneliness,
these chaste hills love themselves, wrapped
in Amish dresses of gray and brown and black.

The snow here is a missionary, too blessed
for my rough boots. At home with you again
I'll love my emptiness. This prim frost bites.

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