For Alisa



Sculpting the marble block of time

This spring in the silent house,


Dreams of dear ones break the season

Into months filled with faces we wish


To hold in the palms of our hands–

Family and friends stranded other-where,


Memories of their laughter in our ears,

As Alba walks through the window.




But days crumble under the chisel.

Too much dust gathers while we await


Hope’s ministrations. Scattered, useless

Thoughts, a heavy sleepiness overtake us.


The robin in the cherry tree, cuckoo

Testing the bark, blue jay cawing by


The kitchen window; the dawn chorus

Is muted by the clamor in the head.




Alba walks over the sheets, blows

A kiss over the eyes that have not slept.


There is light in the corners, the spider blinks

In its net, the book spine is visible,


Here is a day rising from the block of time:

“Come,” says Alba, “see what you can find.”


My daughter sits on the threshold

Singing to the birds. She intones vowels,


Orioles send consonants back.

The hour fills with their song.



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