Winter Flowers

Wooden pencils scratch
over Tuesday night
word problems

to Django Rienhardt’s
Gypsy guitar,
while outside,

the mountains
turn ripe pollen orange
like this mason jar

dripping with stargazer lilies,
long past open. This is
one of the illuminated 

moments, when you notice
that everything matters,
that perhaps

you have landed
in the quiet center
of your own wild 

and beautiful garden,
and the children,
half sprouted,

are rooted
and blooming
like flowers.

Minnesota Creek

Up past Lily Lane,
winter tires sink deep
into January

mud, and the road
gets twisty
beneath the width

of a silver truck.
Fields tattooed
with the feet

of ruddy cattle
give way to high
country ranchland,

and we drive
over sparkling passes
and into the sky,

into the cold, clean air
like the wild geese,
honest and free,

living our lives
like this
on a Saturday,

flying toward sunlight
and into
the great blue.

City People

In the dark tube
of the trans-bay
underground,

black windows strobe
blank nothing
to the ear punching

screech of track
on metal. It has been
half a lifetime

since I breathed
with this city, and my eyes
linger long

on all the flashing
faces. I am startled
by the humanness

within these tattered
train cars,
and by the

unequivocal
force inside
the stranger’s smile,

like a private anthem
to all that is
beautiful.