Break Through

Something gives way. I can feel it beneath my ribcage in the place where breath is born. I can feel it behind my eyes in the place where imagination swells. I can feel it at the corners of my mouth, where a forming smile reclaims its place. There is snow and the world is blanketed with newness, and in turn my perspective flashes fresh as a clean page. At night, I walk to the neighbor’s house to build a fire for fear that the pipes will freeze otherwise. I know the trail by heart through the darkness of new moon or the wild blue of a full one, but tonight I am un-phased by light and travel instead by way of snow covered paths, lit like thousands of tiny candles curving through the forest.

Later, ice cream with the parents and curling up by the wood stove with their dog. Then home to “chat” with a friend and play a few supporting phone messages. Perhaps best of all is the email from a friend who has sent a poem that welcomes me back to my place in this world, at this desk, gazing up at these mountains. Friendship is gift enough, poetry is the cement that binds it to the soul, convincing us there is something eternal in connection after all. How could we go on any other way?

Song for KT by Cam Scott 2/16/07 (edited)

For you are the one who thinks about
rhododendron leaves curling tightly in the cold
then unfolding to catch the sun.

For you are the one who hears the arrival
of certain birds in spring, and feels the absence
of the ones that are gone forever;
and still the seasons sing in the mountains.

You, the one who sees the table is set,
how it changes over the months and years.

Because you are the one who decides
and who gives in and sits by the pot bellied stove
drifting away on currents of radiating heat.

And it becomes easy in the passing years
to see who’s heart is broken,
who’s heart is stolen, who’s heart is well fed.

And it is you who finds the fresh wine stains
withdrawing spilled words with your salt.

And it is you who finds the spatters of candle wax
applying your ice and butter knife.

And it is you who removes the remaining wax
applying your iron and paper bags.

Because it is you who knows how the world will end.
And you who motions the hand that holds scraps
for the dogs curled beneath the kitchen table.

Later, the fiddle player might join the guitarist
and you will dance on the hard wood floor for them.

Later, someone might roll a cigarette
and your hand will light it
as their thoughts drift away on the porch.

But right now you are the one who sees the candle
flickering in the light of the bathroom,
and your face in the mirror looking back at you.

It is you who remembers falling asleep
and waking up beneath a white oak
covered in the collected leaves of fall

It is you remembers running down the muddy field,
cleats digging out clumps of earth.

You remember somehow your umbilicus.
You remember somehow your meridian.

In knowing that when your head touches your pillow
it will no longer be yours, body hungry to be touched
your thoughts will not quit their spinning.

For you are the woman who weaves each day together
then sits in the dead of night unraveling.

No one knows better than you the myth.
No one knows better than you the dream.
No one knows better than you the reality.

For you are the woman who’s spirits
still talk with blood to the changing seasons.

You, the writer woman, who’s never promised
the world, and yet constantly tries to give it.

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