The Lake in Winter
All reflection and gleam
the lake in midwinter sparkles
in brief sunlight. Waves lap
against their frozen brethren.
I could compare the half submerged branch
to my grandmother, dwindling
towards her demise. And that shatter
of ice by the shore and that return of light,
to heaven. When someone you love is dying
every branch, bird, cloud, all of them speak
of endings, and the possibility of resurrection.
Even the heaved asphalt rippled by frost
or stubborn roots speaks, says, nothing human lasts,
even that which seems harder than stone cannot continue.
The lake is heartbreakingly beautiful
today shimmering as it does against the pale
blue sky. Entranced, some part of me wants to linger
on this edge between the beaver gnawed saplings
and the hundreds of waterfowl standing on ice,
or floating on its ribboned edge. Mesmerized
by waves, their multi-colored hues, I almost forget
she is dying almost forget the cold, and that my hat
isn’t stopping the wind. But I am on a schedule
and have a daughter who needs me home, soon. She
will never know my grandmother
except through stories and pictures
but that will have to be enough. Some part of me whispers
-it is all too much-this water and the layers of ice. Even these sounds,
of water against ice and the crackle and creak of ice beside shore,
they overwhelm me with their beauty and I am so glad to know them,
to know the spine of these brittle stems that sway in the wind,
and this specific dark blue that water has only in deep winter.
Another part of me wants to scream,
-I can’t contain it all-. Her death, her life everything she means to me
how can it reside in these interiors?
And all who await her after death. Those I loved,
and those I knew only through her. Familiar and strange
as water that has turned to ice, geometric, patterned, so recently fluid.
The body infinite,
if only in its loving.