Every Reason to Believe
(for my Papa)
Across my bedroom window
another February snowfall stipples
designs the evening sun will paint
glittering mosaic. All I can think of
are the crocus corms I planted
last September in my father's yard
while a sparrow watched from its twig
and feather nest beneath the eaves.
A fat squirrel, tail a fountain of umber,
bent to his own gardening
under the vermillion-dappled oak.
I remember staring at his handiwork
until I grew ashamed of my unskilled fingers,
concealed them like roots in soil.
Today, I bury myself
under a layer of sheets and pray
the crocuses explode through crust of snow,
washing the earth with lilac and cloth-of-gold,
sun bridging rainbows from crowns of shimmering ice.
I imagine the crow's feet around my father's eyes
deepening with smile, his dawn walk
down tomb-still marble halls interrupted
by unexpected brilliance.
Papa, wherever you are I need to know you're smiling,
because, in spite of all your heart's winters,
you have every reason to believe in shadows
shedding, like the first flowers of spring
rising from dark graves towards the benediction
of sunlight, brushing the ice with fire.