Rebecca Nelson


As the glaciers receded, they left
boulders, tefillin, blue water
in their wake. Prayer books
opened to alpine sky and scree,
Talmudic lichen scrawled on rock.

Beyond the rusted appliances and dryas flowers,
ice rims the old shed
above which two red-tails circle
a memory of snowdrift,

the way you walked
over the frost-heaved sidewalk
holding her hand,
shadows joined,

counted winter geese
until you passed on
to cold, morning air,
filling spaces of pine and silence.