Don't tell me we're not like plants,
sending out a shoot when we need to,
or spikes, poisonous oils, or flowers.
Whenever I look
out at the snowy
mountains at this hour
and speak directly
Sometimes I long to be in the woodpile,
cut-apart trees soon to be smoke,
or even the smoke itself,
I fired up the mower
although it was about to rain--
a chill late September afternoon,
wild flowers re-seeding themselves
The father is teaching his eight-year old
to clean a grouse, the purple-gray skin
pimpled by plucking,
Two aides get Dad in the car
on the second try.
He meddles with his seat belt,
Ice on the puddles,
in the cups of fallen leaves.
I'd walk with Dad and a handful
I know I promised to stop
talking about her,
but I was talking to myself.
What etiquette holds us back
from more intimate speech,
especially now, at the end of the world?
I like to think about the monastery
as I'm falling asleep, so that it comes
and goes in my mind like a screen saver.