Winter is close. I hear its arrival in the frantic
call of a crow, as if the blue-feathered swerve toward
my window were telling me something.
“Something” comes from a magical world, like “someone”
or “somewhere.” At eight, I’d read stories,
tangled plots with Baba Yagas
and wise-turned fools that hid words as clean as “someone,”
and then, I’d dream into them, filling elliptic spaces
with visions of thoughtful beggars, peasant girls reading poetry,
the next-door neighbor who turns out to be a prince, and someone
quite faceless, someone less than human but more
than a mere force. I wanted to go “somewhere”
unknown to anyone or anybody, but vivid as the back of a spoon.
Instead, I kept arriving here, the specificity of childhood places–
this yellow stream, this apple tree with its acrid fruit, this path
leading outward into the fields with wheat, potatoes
and pastures, and beyond them, right behind that dark blue
line, something began.