Pure quiet in the room, but for tat-tat-tat–
sparks from your fireplace
against the flue. You imagine
they seek escape, as you did
in yesterday’s early morning vision,

which let you rise high, for instance,
above the frame of that winter-killed deer.
When you chanced upon it on foot last week,
the bones had somehow settled
into a shape that made you think

of your daughter’s most treasured childhood doll.
Crude. Heart-breaking.
You hope it’s lost for good.
You were lifted too above the whips
of new beech at the edge of the big woods

where the doll-like deer bones lay.
You first saw that crowd of saplings as mourners,
then as something less benign.
In fact, once you looked at them more closely,
they seemed predators of a kind.

It struck you the forest wanted back in,
so you yearned to fly higher, believing
that to come down now would mean
endless encagement in grief.
You prayed aloud to the wind in your dream

that it keep command, that it take you
to some fanciful otherworldly garden,
where that daughter cut down by cancer
culls weeds and hoes the soil
so that better new growth may take root and prosper.

But you’ll stay by the fire tonight, eyes clenched,
half-ashamed of your reveries,
and try again and again
to rekindle that hope– a figment, yes,
but better perhaps than none.