• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 05


They left me for dead at the window
on an evening I still remember
for the blind of blurring white—
the moon rising full
over crusts & crags of frozen snow
and the sky clearing to stars so sharp
I might have cut my hand on them.

Ruby told me the Genesee Falls froze
hard as stone that night,
water-jets fossilised
into cathedral pillars of frost…
just like my heart
so I guess I should believe her.
It was then,

yes, I know it was when
they left me for dead at the window…
all that night seeing nothing
in the blank, bitter dark….
all sight was gone—just frost, and so cold
no scarf or muff or heavy quilt would warm me.
That’s when they left me for dead at the window



until with the rage & surge of spring
the river cracked its slabs
and over the roar of ice—
the tumult of water—came
the flowering of foxglove light.
Then in crimson-throated dawn
the thrumming of wings, wings

so light, so slight, but so insistent
that the whole world burst out—
singing. My sight blazed back.
Under the sun’s fierce face I saw
hot foxgloves burn through snow,
the probing bills of birds, two little birds,
humming up sap they knew would rise.

Once left for dead at the window,
now I could fly up like hummingbirds:
alive,                                         alive,
and raising rainbows into sunrise.