Winter Vision (for Wendell Berry)

From his window view
my son seizes
a ribbon of morning light
that gives him
excuse to pause, take
measure of the ochre mist
shrouding the still-dark presences
of trees.

He’s riddled in his chest
by the sight of rocks
splitting the sun’s head, now
a wobble on the mountain’s
trembling shoulders

Snow dies in gasps around us.

We listen for the whistle of doves’ wings.

Within that liquid trail
of light are country dwellers.
And what is left of morning
is the snarl of wood smoke
curling from a neighbor’s
chimney—rock upon rock—laid
with a Neanderthal’s precision.

No fire could ever destroy
what those hands have stacked.
Still tasting the trailing nectar
of light, my son touches
the window lace of frost
and asks, “What is a poem?”
A duck bobs its drenched feathers
on a startled pond.

“A poem’s the face you
make when no one’s looking.”

We smile with smiles
yellow as old photographs.

At ten, he confesses to a heart
that is comic and sly.

To both our liking is a dream
of solid ground and the frenzied
thawing of possibilities unearthed
by accident.

Now gutters tick
like a metronome.

Even fog can’t conceal
the spot where a crow
flies its crooked smile.


From Edward Francisco’s haunting and poignant book of poetry, Death, Child, & Love.

“. . . deeply moving, rooted in love of family, memory-haunting . . .
written by a master of language.” –George Scarbrough

“. . . poems that will attach themselves to our minds and hearts,
to their great and lasting benefit.” –Robert Coles


Check out Francisco’s website here.
To purchase the book, make checks payable to:
Edward Francisco
536 Shem Butler Ct
Charleston, SC 29414

$10.00, plus $3.00 shipping

1 Comment

  1. I tried to make a “quick read” of that book once. Instead I found myself drawn in to savor the lines more than once. I especially like L(ie)fe Boat, and I have shared it with many people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *