The low tone of heavy December wind
moving through the attic’s slatted vents
awakens the woman lying on her side.
She sees how the muted morning light
drifts through window blinds and how her husband,
who was alive in her dream, is again in the earth.
This is the gray day that the Lord hath made.
She hears the soft, rapid ticking of the clock
beside her bed and how it mingles with
the bells outside. The woman does not know
why the wind chimes sound altogether different
in winter months. She does not know
what puts her in her navy dress and heels,
behind the wheel of her husband’s old sedan,
and into the pew they sat in all those years.
But she stands with the parishioners and mouths
the words of the doxology, her whisper lost
in the throng. She sits back down with them.
Back home, she will read the bulletin
and listen to the cable news anchorman
as if he were a bothersome neighbor child.
She does not know why she will not clean
the tables and mantelpiece of the gathering dust
nor why she has to check each windup clock
before she puts herself back into the dark.
Sometimes she wakes up singing.
Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2008
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.