Cloister

These days, in the mornings
I rise after you've left. 
Cold tile underfoot
in the bathroom, telling me 
I'm awake. From the window,
clumps of ochre and tan
where islands of spores
spring up overnight, 
as if wanting to take
over the world. Reddening 
full moon maple, mint leaves 
shriveled in sun. A small 
animal thrashes across the roof, 
landing in the leaves. Did it 
give itself up to the fall, or
miscalculate what it thought
possible? As the day wears on,
I try to keep ahead of the hours. 
Making and mending, measuring
coffee and pages, I am my own 
vow of silence, the fullness 
of all I haven't been able to say 
in order to defend myself. 
What have I made of a life?
Beside the back steps, 
unkempt plot of tangled 
stems under which the rhizome 
holds its place to replenish
itself in the earth.

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