Snow Walk (for Maria)
Tomboys, we lace our hiking boots
and walk where orange berries cluster.
Like two kids,
we remember making snow angels.
Dogs dash by, muzzles glazed with snow.
A little while before, I’d given her
a black sweater with a large snowflake,
covering the heart.
She gave me handmade note cards
with photos of the woods.
We walk past a family on snowshoes
trailing the frozen pond.
Climbing icy stairs to a higher view,
she talks about her parents
who died the same year
my marriage unraveled.
How much loss can a life endure?
The ones we love drift away
like hills of snow, scattering in wind.
Only faith sustains.
Nearly hidden, a small crested bird trills a melody,
broader than his chest.
Beyond snow dappling fir and maples,
the Blue Hills stretch at the horizon,
soaring into dusk.
Love the one you’re with.
The line of an old song echoes in my brain
as I look at her leaf-dappled jacket
and we talk about a church that accepts everyone.
It only exists in our hearts
spreading its magic like rose light
at the top of a hill.