People are coming for dinner; lay the table
with freshly pressed green and yellow napkins.
On short dark days she draws impatience tight
around herself, black swaddling clothes.
By noon the page is half full of words.
By two the clock has eaten every one.
All day the stove has been dreaming of stew;
meat, roots, leaves, it performs their marriage.
The gardeners are gathering the fallen leaves
into canvasses to take them all away.
First Sunday of four. Hold your breath
for four weeks in the dark, then exhale a song.