November 16

comments 2

A line of demarkation
where the sun cleared the ridge,

the rest of the gardens in blue
shade, iced over.  To start

we took down birdhouses stuck
on high stilts, two had peat bricks,

one studded with cold pebbly eggs,
one with a petrified bird, hatching

only half the battle–
The compost frozen solid,

we broke it up with garden forks,
lifted, threw all piles together

to prolong its warm center,
to keep it going longer,

decomposition still a marker of life
and how it finds a way, or doesn’t.


  1. You are so adept at drawing out these lines of demarcation – from the sun and shade, the eggs and the petrified bird, and the process of composting. Well done, and heart rending in a peculiar but powerful way.


    • Thank you–strangely it was easier to take out the dead bird than the eggs, even though they were cold and never going to hatch


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