The House Was Quiet on a Winter Afternoon
Someone was reading in the back,
two travelers had gone somewhere,
maybe to Chicago,
a boy was out walking, muffled up,
alert on the frozen creek,
a sauce was simmering on the stove.
Birds outside at the feeder
threw themselves softly
from branch to branch.
Suddenly I did not want my life
to be any different.
I was where I needed to be.
The birds swirled in the dusk.
The boy came back from the creek.
The dead were holding us up
the way the ice held him,
helping us breathe the way
air helps snowflakes swirl and fall.
And the sadness felt just right,
like a still and moving wave
on which the sun shone brilliantly.