Much melting, and crows close to home.
Snow giving its fingerprints this March morning.
If I could, I would take your arm
in the manner of our European forebears,
linked elbows, fist pressed close to the heart,
singing songs to the springtime, singing old songs.
It would be this much to give the world,
to the dead in the ground who need consoling,
It would be this much to give to the world
which is not like a boot in the face, but a blessing.
The wordless birches rise up, a pure promise, but
early, the day collects in puddles, you are far off.
And remembering noise in the wind, and
Your eyes which are paler than sleep
kissed from the forehead of one who is still
If I could, I would take your arm.
Then the crow in the pine would know us, saying
These are the ones who knew so little, all this time.
From "Crash's Law" by Karen Volkman. (Norton: $18.95, 64 pp.) Copyright 1996 Reprinted by permission.