Winter gradually withdraws, lento for Lent
(White Army in retreat from Kiev). Hobo
shambles along his pockmarked avenue
chasing a fey silhouette. He's forgotten
the source of her first quickening – just
misses her. Quick quick now (here, gone)
– tell me the name of that bird, my son.
His flashlight memory (low batteries, rust).
In Pipestone they make flutes out of soft rock.
Lazy smoke threads up through the mild air.
Premonition of spring, you signal everywhere.
Even here, in this cobwebbed antique-
shop of a town, everything rewinds (prescient,
instinctual) – ice cracks, the streams
plunge between ancient limestone seams
again, at will... a soft light filters through
the fundament. Where from? Wherefore?
A yearning, searchful soul seeks out its source
(strong blind flow deflected from its course)
and morning, opulent and calm, still pours
her slowly-circling reply; on the Terrace
the local pioneer still shoulders the timber
of yesterday, the whole forgotten lumber-
room of history – it will not be erased.
Hobo's heart lifts (remembering her).
The slow, slow panorama sails – wheels
from the horizon's rim. A Kievan bell peals.
And we rise at the sound like a drowsy choir.