Toward Winter

Decades later, and still
I arrow toward you, even if only
in the mind— my flint pieces,
chipped from this lifetime

of toil: some sides dull, some
burnished to the sharpest they
will ever be. All these birds
resting at the hem of the river,

picking through bittercress
and spurge, wild garlic, white
clover: how often must they leave
and return, leave and return,

that karmic cycling
the price of whatever stillness
any one of them craved while rowing
through the long, blind stretches.

Like them I raise my voice
mournfully, asking why it should be
taken for a kind of mistake or failure
to desire rest; to want the shimmer

of silence that means only welcome or
absolution or release. But what kind
of love keeps asking for more than what
a body can carve out of itself to give?

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