Into the birdbath’s frozen mirror,
you stare down a nose of red clay
as if—past mossy five o’clock-shadow,
your curls under snow—
you can’t see
someone just carved from marble,
and stupid with it:
that youth who stood,
sling in one hand, stone in the other,
at the end of a story he’d wandered into.
All you rule is a patch of backyard,
the rest of England erased by snow.
Dead stalks of summer rattle the dead of winter,
their names forgotten.
From the ice,
thrush and robin chip their separate psalms.
He who sits in the heavens
sings of sex and food, snail and worm.
Debora Greger’s new book of poems, By Herself, was published by Penguin in 2012. She is the Poet-in-Residence at the Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, Florida.