Consider the riverbank
under this muffled sky. It is not so cold
as you imagine. The songs the birds don't sing
are not inconsolable.
If the blue heron strives into flight,
your body scarved and coated
will feel what's winged inside you struggle,
as though some former urgency
is all that fastens you to earth.
Perhaps pelicans still winter on the island -
the frost-white blooms of their bodies
bunched along that far shore
where water pools, plum-silver,
separate from the slate of the river's surface
that seems firm enough to stand upon.
The light will be ashen and shadowless,
trees hung with silence.
If you do not know how
to hear the whole tone
of stillness, stand and wait....
Against all knowing
it will chime through you
from the inside out.