With No Questions
A steady sheet of rain is slipping through the woods,
apple blossoms plastering the ground, the last snow, our first sorrow.
The gentle rush of the creek will be both dirge and lullaby.
A barred owl stutters deep within the beech grove.
My tea is cooling where it sits on the windowsill.
The rain lifts its last skirts over the ridge and leaves a dripping quiet in its wake.
Suddenly, a tableau of four deer within the settling fog.
My dog barks now, belatedly, once, twice
to let me know they’re there – none of us very excited
though the beauty of it, of them, still slows
the reach of my hand for that solitary cup.
Meadow grass is dangling from one of their mouths, a damp, green bouquet.
When I stumble, drawing closer, their match-stick legs
ferry them effortlessly down the rocky bank,
their taupe velvet flanks soft as kisses, tough as weathered callous,
their black eyes, their black noses, every part marvelously balanced.
They’ve stopped now inside some pocket of quiet below me.
We are all listening, each to the other,
waiting for the next move in the universe.
And just here becomes the only place
I know where time surrenders to itself
and reverses what I think I know.
My tea is cold. The dog asleep. The rain gone.
And somewhere the owl is sliding the silence into the hidden trees
of a deeper night with no questions about philosophy,
with no questions at all.