Clouds cover most of the stars,
though Libra straddles the half-moon
behind a gray-wisp curtain, and Scorpio
grasps at the gibbous with his claws,
the creep of atmosphere gradual as
a thickening cataract, until the blindness
seems like it’s always been there, a speck
that grows to a spot, slowly collects
into a frost pattern, edging
the window-glass like a frame.  

The clouds pink, then blanch –
snow soon, its breath invisible, a heavy
clean scent.  One chickadee at the feeder,
trees deserted of leaves, save for a sloppy
squirrel nest.  This, my one hour of silence,
this window-staring flight from a coffee
stained to-do list.  We stay where we
survive, don’t we, where the landscape claims
us, where the rest of our kind wait
for us, perched on treetops or
on wires, singing a tune
we’ve known all our lives.

Kris Bigalk (pronounced BEE-yahk) is the author of the poetry collection Repeat the Flesh in Numbers (NYQ Books, 2012). Her work has recently appeared in Rougarou, Pif Magazine, WaterStone Review, and other literary magazines. A 2010 and 2012 recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Individual Artist Grant in Poetry, Kris directs the creative writing program at Normandale College in Bloomington, Minnesota.

This poem began on a Thanksgiving morning when I woke before everyone else, intending to prepare a holiday meal, and instead took some time to watch the sunrise, absorbing all of the details oustside my window.    Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, in that it encourages us to reflect on what we've been given, and how our choices on how to view the world "outside the window" affect our perceptions of abundance or poverty in our lives.  Moments in which we break out of routine and immerse ourselves in both the details and immensity of the world are gifts to be acknowledged and affirmed, recorded and preserved on the page -- in this case, as a poem.




Copyright 2009