Light seeps insistently at the margins of the blinds
tugging me awake. Between the night
and new day I wonder about the magic
that rests in the mystery of sleep.
The cardinal perched in the locust tree declares his arrival
and the usual gnawing worries lose interest
in punching holes in my ego.
From a crack in the universe, tangerine orange and popsicle pink spread like
veins of light across the horizon. The news repeats itself in November, April and July.
Infections up, beds down, death up, healthcare workers and grieving families
in endless corridors of exhaustion collapsing in despair.
Our future like a language we have yet to learn is before us
like the valley where I live, and where Thomas Cole stood before his palette
arranging Antwerp blue, Vermillion and Chrome yellow while hope
hovered at the edges of his easel.
What matters beyond the poem; is it a stone slipped into the pocket of memory?
It could have been the first day of time; the air
so clean and crisp under a deep blue cloudless sky.
Heading towards home, the angle of the sun turned
my eyes to crescents and the road was etched with stars.
Out from the shadows in a loose cluster
were three horses wearing blankets standing
still as statues, unbridled in the space between thoughts.
I remember my grandfather, father, and uncle
huddled around the table in a bubble of love
drinking coffee telling stories of the history of
this and that, then silence, laughter and
me never wanting it to end. Going around the bend
an old red barn sitting close to the road stands boldly,
conjuring its history observing everything.
Then, like a light switching on, happiness rubs up against my cheeks.
Sharon Strauss moved from the pacific northwest to Beacon, New York in 2017. She connects deeply with the natural environments that she is surrounded by. It serves to foster a deep sense of curiosity. Sharon’s work, whether visual or through poems, is a search for her identity through an ecological lens that reflects the flux of nature.