ARTHRITIS OF THE HANDS IN WINTER

Joints-Thumb-Inter

“By the waters of Babylon we lay down and wept as we remembered Zion”

Down the little White Salmon, a body of fog exactly wide as the river

is floating.

Crows on opposite sides cawing at each other,

choking and gargling in the language of crows.

In my right hand a little wind circumambulates five swollen hillocks of knuckle bone

where fires have been built.

That’s how I feel it.

That’s how I know when the sky has come down to the riverbed

where white egrets are murmuring.

The sound of their murmuring is a twin to the sound of currents.

 

I am only a white man walking by a green river in a modest fog.

If there is meaning here, I leave it to debating crows.

My left hand, the color of wonder bread, remains open,

offering a flow of air across the palm, back to sky.

 

The One without a name who takes the shape of water and of air

is also present in fire.

 

……………………………….