I hear birds in the field
They are singing a long silence
It's a winter without guns
Once I stood at the edge of the field
Where the trucks pass
Perhaps you will come in the afternoon
When light is long and silence quickens
What will love do to us?
No one can answer this.
I watch you in the distance
Strolling through winter trees
Some of which have fallen,
White pine and balsam
Toppling onto each other.
This has been going on for a long time.
Slow scrape of trees
Where water hardens,
Icicles snapping at the doorpost.
Sometimes it's as if I cannot see you.
Then love breaks me.
If I cry out, will you come to me?
[Meena Alexander, '1. Afternoon' from Quickly Changing River]