In February

She looks at the apple trees
and imagines rows of people
standing in line for something.
She even dreamt once
of being among them,
waiting patiently to enter
the open doorway
of the earth, which shone
with a light so forgiving
it could have spoken.

Her son’s been dead
nearly a year, and yesterday
while driving to the feed store
she braked suddenly
and threw her arm
across the rib cage
of his absence.

The ice grows down the ruts
of the gravel driveway.
The possum by the well
frozen in place
for over a week.
Wood smoke hangs
halfway up the trees,
the air is still.

Gunshots can be heard for miles,
and every kind of water
and laughter.  end