Shadow Box

Those were the years of lamplight
     falling on early snow, the blue
           shadows of trees forming an arc
by the platform where you waited
     for the last train, and the man
           and his daytime harmonica slept
under the ticket counter, his breath
     curling under a thin coat collar. 
           Those were the years you walked
with grocery bags in each hand
     when you missed the bus, clicking
           each knee against the cold. 
The corridor stretched, and suddenly
     a profusion of crepe myrtles; 
           unstoppable blossoming 
of cherry trees, such beauty a currency 
     they never minded losing. When 
           the moon asked to bind your ring
finger with silver, it did not drain
     the seas of their poison. It didn't
           stop the horse from working
free of its reins, the ox from rooting
      itself in the mud before it bent
           to the yoke again. Here is
a leaf for each season: you could give 
      them the names of your daughters, before    
           each slipped quietly into a book.           

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