Long Distance Winter
I heard this morning how my mother caught
six mice under the sink in one cold week.
Then two birds came down the chimney, black with soot.
As to the mice, that’s good huswifery and bodes well.
But about the birds the omens are not so clear.
I had a vision how, with Dad no longer there,
she’d snared them in a web of loneliness, fashioned
from her widowhood, and turned the starvelings out.
Later today my wife encountered a great brown bear
in the park next to the library, where she’s doing
research on aging. Also a resourceful woman like Mother,
she simply climbed a tree and waited until the bear
lost interest and turned into a small trout, silver
as the grass. At this season, stranger things have happened.