In some ways my property looks like the aftermath of battle. Blow down, cut-down, deadfall, invasive species, overgrowth, old farm ruins. But snow covers many sins and cold weather gives the armchair general a perfect chance to game out his next campaign.
New Year dreams of spring
It’s too cold to go outside (unless strictly necessary), but
not to peer out the upstairs window over sunstruck snow
at that stand of old white pine looming behind the yard.
Now that leaves are down and the rotting boxelder dropped,
I see how stately they are, upholding their bright white offering.
I see now how little labor it might take to fashion there a bower.
Just there, a trail cut through the mock orange and knotweed–
under the pines, a little deadfall and undergrowth to clear away.
Then a picnic table or some Adirondack chairs, a stone firepit.
I could write a poem there, perhaps about the does browsing
in the sumac. Clear of limbs for many feet, the pillars of pine
support a deep green cathedral ceiling and a nest of squirrels
that I could watch as they leap from limb to limb, chasing
each other around the circle of trees. Or you and I could kiss
there beside a fire while a big moon runs in and out of clouds.
This is just to say the old place has possibilities. But for now
the wheelbarrow is covered in snow and the ladder frozen
to the ground. Spring is far off as something seen in dream.
Note: unpublished draft