Speak to me in the metaphors
of Neruda’s odes.
Address the surrender of my hands
to row after row of words that warm
the stones of winter.
Courage as you start to disappear
in multicolored nubs
speckling our carpeted floor.
Look, my dear husband stoops
to pluck a scrap of your demise.
Once riotously red-orange-blue,
How snugly your fit each hand, fingers
anxious to greet you.
Year after year, you pointed the way.
Now I remember Scandinavia,
Ultima Thule. I sang of reindeer dreams,
antler and hooves in the matrix
of an Arctic blast—aurora’s
pale green fire.
Like you, worn gloves, that girl
with a back pack begins to slowly unravel,
delicate hairs tufted in a brush,
combed out names of towns, roads, lakes—
she meanders, recalling the tattered
and sometimes deliriously silken trek.