Night Chores

She hears the creek,
It’s voice burbling
In the darkness
Just as it does this time
Every year,
The heavy snows
Melting
To run down the mountain sides
Promise flowing,
Flooding
Within cold water,

And she wonders
If it will wash away
The bleakness
That has been the winter too
Or if that will persist
Even through the sprouting
Of green grasses,
The blooming of jonquils
Of tulips.

And she cradles the cold pans,
Metal clanking on metal
As her head lamp casts
Its beam
Back and forth,
Back and forth,
Searching,
While she calls,
She calls,
She calls…

And she waits,
The stars not shining,
Through heavy clouds
That she knows
No longer hold white flakes.
From the smell on the air
She can tell they hold nothing at all,
Not for her,
Not on this night,
Their purpose only
To block the celestial light
To emphasize the suspense,
To keep her guessing,

And then there’s the rumbling whicker,
The two pairs of glowing lights
That reflect her searching beam,
Pinpricks of life from out of shadows,
Jewels in velvet,

And, with the soft thudding
Of enormous feet
Dark shapes
Hulk out of the gloom,

And she touches each one
As they nose into the pans,
Their shaggy coats coming away
By the handsful,
Covering her fingers with hair
That is no longer needed
In this warming season.

And she pats,
Though she really shouldn’t,
Giving them her best whicker back,

And the creaking of the gate latch
Says to her once again
That they are well,
They are safe,

And running water
In the background of night
Declares the spring.

©2019 Annette Meserve

The Moment

Awake in the night,
Heart pounding in my ears,
Too loud, too fast.

Deep breathing,
Trying to slow it,
Trying to calm it.

Have I developed a heart condition?
I haven’t been following my own advice,
Haven’t been practicing what I preach.

Or is it panic?
The prospect of once again laying myself bare to the world?
Of offering my heart and asking, please, that it not be broken this time.

Anxiety or cardiac disease,
It doesn’t matter.
The solution is the same.

Both healing and courage can be found in the movement,
In walking, in dancing, in yoga,
Found in meditation.

And morning is coming.