All day, with my chemo-brain
and numb toes and fingers,
I’ve been off-balance.

I’m drawn to you
as you reach for the thistle seed
and lose your

Winter is wearing us through,
like two old bootsoles.

I can’t lose anything more
to the cold.
I worry as you fly off—

where will you find water?
I have water—
it’s not what I need.

I need you to live.
If the sun comes back, you will sip
from a melting icicle, your feathers

turning wet and glossy in its spray—
like a soaking rainbow.
Or if, instead, winter

drinks you down—your golden
tarnish will be the old
phantom’s last, best treat,

his one taste of summer.

(back to Rising Out of Nowhere)