A greyed-out blue-leaning green
like the leaves of last year’s sage
persisting next to my front door
through the freezing nights
and fickle days.
Wind and clouds filter the sunlight.
Outside my window a cat sits on the fence
Taking shelter from the stiff wind. Inside,
I’m dressing for warmth and keeping an eye
on the heaters and the teakettle.
Even so the trees are setting their buds.
Even so I am sprouting basil on my windowsill.
I remember figuring it out as a kid,
that I got bigger without noticing
because I was growing all the time.
Even when you’re asleep
you’re arranging absorbing metabolizing
The pain in my arm poses questions:
Exactly how fake am I being
when I claim to be enjoying the lockdown?
Is it time to stop writing and dance for a while?
Do you really not care if no one reads this?
Here is your daily reminder that the work is not good enough.
Wouldn’t you rather do something easy and dull?
Meanwhile the sun comes out, as it does
most days here. The garden in its winter phase
Is lovely, if unmoving. I am warm in my layers
and thick soft pants. Come spring,
I will look back at this photo and think,
the light is encouraging. The work is happening.
Snow in New Mexico doesn’t last for long.
You have to get outside and take the photo
as soon as you see it, otherwise you miss it.
Pose the photo carefully. If you catch it right,
the white grains will show up against
the dark blue pants.
All my life I’ve had the feeling there is
something absolutely vital calling for my attention,
gesturing, tugging at me, just outside
of whatever it is I’m doing or saying,
just beyond reach, just barely out of sight.
One way or another, backwards and sideways,
I have constructed a life in which
I have the time and the disposition to respond.
I answer to no boss but the quickly passing snow.
It’s left me unfit for life in the world of commerce.
But look at that winter garden.