Kyle D. Craig
In early morning hours, when night still swallows the sky and a choir
of chickadees has yet to commence, I sit inside my living room where
logs are stacked beside a red brick fireplace and smoke rises from my
coffee like a blown out match.
I stare through a single pane window at the woods in the distance.
Although now more difficult to distinguish due to draped canopies
of snow, from treks of my youth I still know where each sycamore
stands, where limbs of sweet gum and white ash intertwine, where
one flowering dogwood bends beneath an Eastern pine.
the candle's scent
Down the hallway in a bedroom my ten-month old daughter sleeps
in a crib encased with white bars. Tucked beneath a lavender blanket
ornated with yellow dragonflies, her chest rises and falls to produce
small puffs of wind.
I hope one day she can roam those trees and learn the lessons
that aren’t taught on screens; to know which berries can be picked
and popped into mouth, when irises will bloom in Spring, or how to
distinguish a cardinal from wren by the songs they sing.
arms and legs
swoosh in unison . . .
The tick of the clock and the emergence of morning light, however,
remind me that by the front door my keys hang from a hook
and my boots sit untied upon the mat. In neighbor’s driveways I see
shovels swing like pendulums, wool mittens and car door handles
square off in tug-of-war, scrapers clear windshields through flames
of white breath.
As I exit the screen door and my cheeks meet the sting of bitter air,
I pause a moment to imagine my daughter wandering unencumbered
through those woods. I hope she learns that high in those limbs reside
a thousand nests, and in each one a father who cares for his young—by leaving them.
an empty suet feeder
covered by frost