New Day One

The back alley becomes
a graveyard
for worn couches.

Nine degrees
doesn’t feel too bad
if I stay away

from bridges and river
banks. Icicles formed
unnaturally still remain

on bare tree branches
in the yard
where firefighters fought

and lost
a year-end battle. A raging one,
it took down

a 100-year-old multiplex
home with pillars.
How can I leave you behind

in a year so scorched?
Give me a sign

that your spirit has made it
through wind chill to now.

Block E 2011

A down feather on my left
sweater sleeve, empty

beer bottle buffed with a fresh coat
of snow on the sidewalk. Another
year left behind, another
comes into view. Beginnings often start

with a dormancy period.
Renewal can happen

while we sleep and the birds
are away. A woman cold and tight
in her long great coat kicks
the bottle toward the café exterior wall

where it spins and stops short
of becoming a noise maker

I didn’t miss hearing. Still
wouldn’t wake the dead
even on a day like today
when bottles roll toward me

as if the world has taken
a sudden turn.