When a cow gives birth,
they call it calving, too.
It happens most often
in the morning: sunrise, later.
Black cows dropping smaller
cows, wet, slippery.
The sun, unraveling,
warms both. The sun,
breaking over the mountains.
Sunrise doesn’t reach
the waterline until late.
It only dusts the topmost
points of the ice.
The mountains in the east
keep us in shade.
Blue shade, blue ice cut-
through with a different blue.
They call it calving
when the ice breaks free, falls.
Sea the color of mountains
rolls in against the outflow.
Both wash the black shore
clean, smooth as birth.
WHEN IT IS COLD AND I SMELL ROSES
And here, friends, is what I believe
to be pure faith: the red squirrel,
small and nimble in the cold,
back arched and holding her fat
belly out of the snow as she
makes her way back to the leaf-ball
nest high in the bare white oak
now gone back to white again.
I believe in the flat mat of clouds
that holds everything together
and presses down on the garbage bins
I have taken out to the curb,
and on the pregnant squirrel,
her swollen teats, the warm pups
in her full belly that may not
make it past their first hard week.
I do not want children and I have
only recently come to want a dog,
but in this air, in the pink wrap
of rose and snow, I think I may be
able to do something that requires
more than I believe I have in me.
fiction poetry "fact" photography