Wednesday, January 21, 2009


The moon hangs safety-pinned to the backdrop of the still dark dawn, like a painted white cardboard symbol of itself. Three token stars twinkle around the sickle. I am moving over the frozen ground toward the tent of the sun, the bridegroom appearing, the leaving of his chamber and his blush against my face.
Which would make me what, I laugh.
Not virgin awaiting.

The cedar waxwings swoop in swarms like invading armies, plundering the dead trees of their fruity wealth like pulled gold fillings. They are as merciless as beauty. The skeleton trees stripped and gleefully abandoned.
I move over the icy sidewalks like pregnant. Hips forward, feet wider, steps smaller. My thumbs tapping the tips of my fingers in anticipation.
The birds, the birds, the birds.

I walk to the graveyard in the cold black, twist off a powdery cattail for my sleeping girl and hop a fence. The place itself unremarkable. Tidy. Closer to a golf course than a pocket of grief, with the Buddhists and Muslims and Christians rotting in their separate spaces even six feet under. I am carried on the frozen wind like a ghost to the dogs and their hot barking, "On a night like this?"
I shortcut home in the dark through a blue-white field, snow to my knees, and there, in a copse of trees, is a plastic St. Nicholas face down in his red velvet cloak. The Patron Saint of generosity. The dead on my right, suburbia on my left, I pick him up and settle him in the branch of a tree. He is smiling, one arm lifted. I move to leave, and then stop. Face him. I hold my palm over him in return. Pray a blessing on the plastic, on the saint, on the generosity. That this wild white might sanctify any who pass under the beauty of his hand.


Cherie said...

Soft place for my mind to land just now.

Thanks, A.

Janna said...

How can you be a normal person who sleeps, eats, works and takes care of a little girl? You are not. You are exceptional and I'm so glad to read your words and feel like I'm part of it somehow. This poem reads like a dream of a dream of life. I so wish to fly up north and go on this walk with you. I think I'm gonna have to print this one out. Don't worry, I'll give you credit.

Angela said...

you're welcome, friend.

janna, i'm emailing you back right now.
oh, and it's so cold right now that when i inhale, a little cough catches in the back on my throat from the freezing air like cigarette smoke does to me. don't fly out just yet.

Amber@theRunaMuck said...

I called you fabulous on my blog today, far-away friend.

Angela said...

hey! thanks, amber. i'm shwooping on over there now...

ya u know me! said...

I am in Utah! we drove through 3 states today- tomorrow VIVA LAS VEGAS!

I like the way the words are arranged on the page... ever since reading 'the collected works of billy the kid' I have been in love with the framing of words on a page...

kay miss u- take care of Lou for me....