Not long ago, winter's prime of light and fires 
Led to chimneys smoking. It stayed the ice
That crowded around the window’s edge,
sneaking to steal the warmth which always
Waited at the door. Apples roasted for the pie as
Butter melted, the sweetness rising with the scent
That whispered, stay...still...see...stay.
Heart thundered at chopping block mutters. Both
Clung together as animal-bound hands reach to tear
Apart what iron could not. A brother's craft.

Harvest gave her soiled bounty to heal
All she knew winter would burn in time
To come. We worked the ground to the bare of both
Our bones, and she has watched us well; gifting
Her strength in wheat and hearty barley to
Face the ash of winter's so-called mercy.
I see the gray-once-red bush of thorns. 
Does it remember the hummingbird? 
It flew on children's laughter. 

I will not want as much as they, the constant
Ones, who always stay and cry and laugh and
Die with the land that gave them life.
But now they cry for me too, the changing one.
Discontented by the roast we killed, or the land
that raises sage, juniper, and those crab apples
That mother always wished to make into jam.

I am a sail torn by starboard fair of
Grass unseen and muses unsearched, harvests
Unmet for my heart to ponder; yet port
With garden memoirs and soiled doors
Planted in me. If roots of trees are not touched by
The frost, why am I so cold? The tallest trees die
From the top down. They stay…still…see…stay.

2 thoughts on “Stay

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