Shelter in Place

I am not prepared

           for shelter in place

                         only apples and lemon and chard   

                                        also emergency (rare) 

                                                    in my fridge    

                                                    my faulty IP address 

                                        keeps itching and is

                         incurable not unlike

           a fitful neuralgia 

I walk as if fleet

           determination can ease

                          my restlessness  

                                          tiny cedar waxwings

                                                 flit through slender branches 

                                                 crowd together feast on berries 

                                          call a sighing note        

                           then grip the tree bark hang upside down all lightness

             and gleam early spring light thins over the lake

double face daffodils hatch-out beneath

                           here not even two months ago

                                           a student drowned herself 

                                          body and sound of her latticed in ice unburdened

                           now a swan sleeps in that place

             neck curved into shelter against the light

I am moved by its quiet                                                               

            little soul she has a sturdy form 

                           soaked as she is with sun and mud

                                          and feathered elegance

                                          I fail to imagine

                           how we will fare 

            we fast from eucharist

this is my body given a severe electronic modesty  

            a Lenten union under the great trees

                          tiny blue flowers Veronica persica, bloom

                                           I stretch my brain, accommodate

                                           myself to forms of 

                          migration not of people moving 

             from place to place 

but of the loneliness of the young

                 poet who struggles to make

                                           a pure privacy within  

                                           her errancy and augury

                the goods she needs to hoard at home so that

she can risk the perfect word

                in her strange unquiet enclosure. 

                                           I think mud season is a necessity 

                                           our new order to shelter

                in place a notebook an allegory about the nature

of matter a toxic writhe of stuff that 

                surges and blots our capacity to breathe 

                               we want for air and sinew of sterner quality—

                                             we keep watch for pathogens 

                                             ready to deliver their slender luggage

                               even the squirrels are cleaning house

                dropping wintry sludge and bits                                                               

of old, dried apple husks and rotten chestnuts

                 into April grass

                                nothing to do but wait—

                                             I mark words thoroughly wash sheets 

                                            with care studiously sift flour and butter

                               tread after-words practice singing 

                lamentation for Tenebrae scour the soup pots 

At night I turn darkness over peruse the hauntings 

               of the prophets their thoughts are 

                              forms of cinder we wait for Easter light                                                                 

                                            for stillness    


                                                               enough is enough

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