Various and Sundry Poetry

mirror, mirror

who is the girl, then?
fair, freckly, a little on the thin side,
balled up in a winter sweater,
slippers, staring at a screen
the calendar, the weather, the options,
remembering how yesterday,
the wind caught her laterally,
buoyed her speed on rollerblades,
gave her the gift of a dull ache
in her ankles, a beating heart,
red cheeks and breathlessness,
and how quickly that disappeared,
this morning, waking up groggy,
eyes burning, neck sore, lost
just a little, but again, and that is
what really burns the most,
the defeated way the girl looks
into the mirror, wiping her face,
staring at two shifty eyes
who don't want to look this close,
so she turns, back to the drawing board,
coffee, inching along the day's stiffness,
its lack of air, poignancy, bravado,
glancing at the calendar, wishing for
clarity, thrill, purpose, transportation
from the couch, the stillness of the bed,
and she knows
she knows
it can only come from here, inside,
she holds the embers of the fire,
she maintains the lighthouse
she tends the roots,
and even if she's less than magnificent
at the plow, the hearth,
she is loyal to the garden always,
so despite the winter atrophy she
leans a little into the wind, into words,
into the small pockets of love
just wide enough to tuck into,
and even now, shallow-breathed,
shifty-eyed, fractious, minor-key,
she recognizes what must still be beautiful,
the shadows from which
light, inevitably, erupts.