Winter Ritual: Breaking Bread
Cold concrete darkness
Pine tree groaning overhead.
Something swinging in the wind.
Wild whipping of the tips
Of the limbs, but not the limbs
Themselves, frozen and creaking.
One came down—CRACK!
Landed on the cradled loaf
She was carrying before her
On the front stone porch beneath.
Crashed on its covered crust
In the icy brittle chill of evening.
Sourdough it was
Fresh baked, warm and ready
For finger to break from its cozy nest.
But as I have said,
It was the limb, the limb it was
That broke the bread
Beneath the rocking boughs.
Oh, the Baker? She was shaken,
Shocked, as though disarmed,
Battered and patted with fronds of pine,
Frosted, but otherwise unmarked.
November Lawn Crew
They cut the lawn today.
They were cutting the frost today.
They were nipping at Jack Frost
Not vice versa.
Nipping: “nipping” is right—
Not the scythe-arch swipe,
A good John Barleycorn snap,
The harvest hack at back of the knees,
Just after the best of Indian summer.
Theirs today was but a tender shave
To take away some green,
To preserve some green,
To force up some green,
To make for themselves some green,
By nipping, nipping, nipping at the blades
Stuck up above the velvet moss,
As they cut through the frost,
Cutting the lawn early today.