the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night


Spring 2013



Maura Dooley

Late Snow

I try not to see it as meaningful,
how the flakes fall swiftly
but do not settle,
not on the roads and paths,
nor generally all over
but here, just here,
where an arc of forsythia bows
under this fresh, surprising weight.
Calling from another place,
you asked me once to name
the shimmering bush in your new garden,
describing it, in that way of yours,
so that I saw the startling blueness of it,
the unfurling leaf and tender stem
and could say confidently ceanothus,
the bush that today, years on,
in my own garden and just about to bloom,
takes on a coat of ice.
What now can I name with certainty?
The snowflakes grow larger, heavier.
Is this, then, real?



What do you call the place
in a tree where damage collects?
A bole blackened by disease, neglect,
a stoop pooling the slow drip
of darkened leaf,
the brilliance
of lightning bringing only regret
at what's been broken, torn or blasted.
What do you call that place? I forget.



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