Close to the End (an ethic of scale)

 
Close to the end of the year
the cold breaks, and we see
a winter bee come out
to clear the hive. One
small hum is cupped
to our ear against the wooden
box, and all around us
is the descending dark, always
the day settling toward the early
evening colors. A bee is still
a golden creature even
in this brief flight, wrapped in
winter’s dimmest light, even as we
see it leave our fading sight.

 

 

 

One Winter Morning

 
She sees the winter bluebirds, only
she does, in the cold February morning
against the new landscape the blizzard
has made, and here’s the boy who helps
the old dog where she cannot climb
the steep snowbank—unbinds his skis
and lifts her to where she’s safe and can
walk, and I, their mother, see the fox’s
trail on the snowpack that curves over
the stream that freezes and runs beneath
and notice how neither has an end.

 

 

 

March 1

 
Narrow fox trail and glimpse of white-tail
and only hawk and crow:
no songbird near. Flakes of snow that
flutter, fall, collect in one fine layer
on hill and gully, not much wind.
White sky and bits of whiteness in the air
and smoke from chimney—turning gray
to white as it rises. Cold only where
I am uncovered, just the glimpse of skin
on brow and chin and cheeks
where lines are set, are trails to follow,
that settle, stay there, fine and narrow.

 

 

 

Two Girls

 
The two young dogs chase a white
butterfly across the new plowed field
brown and stony, and the two girls by the pond
are surrounded by the frogs—spring peepers
calling to each other, singing back and forth,
and the flower petals on the cherry trees
are dropping, the bees gone to find others blooming,
and there is no use in considering when sometimes
memory will come again—a bright dome over it all,
so that this is no longer forgotten, with dandelions
bright yellow in the grass and another white
butterfly taking the two young dogs away
and the two girls by the pond surrounded.

 

 

 

Gigi Marks lives and writes near the western edge of Cayuga Lake, in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Her most recent collection of poems, Close By, was published by Silverfish Review Press in 2012, and a new collection, Territory, is forthcoming from Silverfish Review Press.

Header photo of light rays through trees in winter landscape by cocoparisienne, courtesy Pixabay.

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One Response

  1. Jill McCabe Johnson

    Love the slant rhyme and slant meter, if there is such a thing, in these poems by Gigi Marks. Their compression evokes Ginsberg, for me. Their imagery and skillful meter, Roethke.

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