Mother, I am bare in a mist-mad forest.

Only the moon shows me love.

Winter will crush me: tiny arms, pale feet,

tongue of rust. I have a thousand visions:

you ironing an enormous dress; eating

chocolate and honey, sausage

and a luscious peach; the sun drunk

and easy; spring blowing raw sky

and storm scream; someone running.

You cry, Go, go. Take them, will you?

He does, along the sea road with its

stopped ship fast asleep. In this place

of elaborate beauty, it is late autumn

and mostly quiet, except when

the heaven-born wind wags and flaps

the branch he left tied

to a sere white ash. Silence itself is strategy,

a signed language,

gorgeous, fluid in the hands

of those who learned it in childhood.

You know we were never meant

to live here, only to learn relinquished,

forsworn, to grasp with wet hands the cold

metal of life, then find a way to let go.