You leave early. Carriage wheels
rattle over stone. The pines fragrant.
An orange leaf, one of the few,
flares againt your window-
like a lighter’s flame
waitng to kindle more
than your cigarette. An intimate memory
Wind disturbs the water
under a pewter sky. Cattails sway
and a kestrel clings to one – as if
it were a needle measuring the pulse
of November ‘s storm.
I feel like a gypsy bird
riding this narrow length of time
before the flood, the blackness.
Those marsh plants keep unraveling.
Fleeece scattered along stalk and leaf.
But in me, fear never frays
until the last moment when nothing
is prepared – except some candles,
a copper bowl and flask of wine.
Enough to anoint the house,
to forsee the hours.