Thursday, December 29, 2022


At the terrible mercy of so much 
austerity, everything manmade 
collapses—or else 

hastily crouches to 
simplify itself, like some 
ungainly fraction. 

No more jingling sleigh bells
or mottled Appaloosas—only 
the simultaneous contraction 

of all the quiet, snowy roads
and all points of time's circle joining 
and compacting. 

Even the dazzling smokewhite 
of daybreak and the shimmer of yellow-lit,
 late evening windows 

are, here at another 
bleary year's end, just as remarkable 
as they are incidental. And yet, 

what remarkable freedom 
must exist 
to be reached 

now that all time and place
and every habitual 
path we might take

have just been so forcibly
but mercifully