Upraised into shorter days
and longer nights, my hands stiffen,
from cold and age.
One hand falls from the other hand,
tired of prayer and tired of not-prayer,
tired of the flame that cowers behind a prim palm.
There are suns somewhere, if just in poems,
suns that reach for higher suns
beyond the ermine collars of industry and devotion.
Toward evening all is visible:
the burning tip,
the burning heart,
the burning whole,
the ascent and opening
toward One who burns in triplicate,
But there is also weight,
and fruit, immanent things
with their own borrowed light
that, in turn, my eyes and mouth borrow
to learn from them the vector of thanksgiving
which some call grace
and which is always toward the humus
of beginning or ending
a long pilgrimage,
laden with riches to give away or keep.
And finally, when all that seems left
are the fading colors of advent,
the call of vine
the response of cluttered compost,
and the ankylosed remains of improbable, actual things,
somewhere, something has found the place between
and hangs there in silly triumph for a time,
fabulous, scandalous, vamping for the lens,
dying to go home, but willing to stay awhile
just so the scribes will get it halfway right.