The phragmites have given in to the tempo of suffering, stalks now sticks
and feathers brushing on soft drums. The marsh bells stay silent. Clouds
have dominion. Beaches are running with votive lights carried out on the tide,
and threading through the bracken broken on the other shore, a gauze of mist
will soon hang its skeins of fog under the low sky. Huddled on a surf-soaked
railroad tie fallen from the road, in raw November, I watch fragile hoarfrost
form on the salt hay and whiten the sea moss. Water birds have winged free
from iced-over pools, the wind wandering above, wondering what it has done.
We are holy, in spite of ourselves. We can make sacred a small place on earth
simply by the mind’s companionship. I’m turning to sleet. But it blesses me.