Dawn Redwood

  Early morning light: a young red-tailed hawk

glided onto an overhead branch and peered

 

down at me, but it did not look with your eyes—

a battered and rusted pickup lies in the wash;

 

Navajo tea buds on the trail—I headed back

and checked, in the boiler room, the traps,

 

baited with peanut butter—now a gnat

flits against this lit screen: where are you now?

 

One morning, we walked in a Rhode Island

cemetery and did not look at a single gravestone;

 

we looked at hundred-year-old copper beeches,

cells burnished purple, soaking up sunshine,

 

and talked about the dawn redwood,

how the glimmering light at the beginning

 

of the world was in all things. This morning,

in the predawn darkness, Orion angled

 

in the eastern sky with Sirius, low,

above the ridgeline; and, before daylight

 

blotted out the stars, I heard you speak,

the scratched words return to their sleeves.