Susan Rooke

Autumn Reliquary

Into the still, cold sky, a china teacup     
spills its light.  Mesquite trees gather
at the front porch, bare arms lifted,
slender wrists braceleted in mistletoe.
We sit outside in an emptiness
that runs for miles, bundled
against the year’s wane, wondering
what it is to end.
Is it true the dying need to be held?  
Around us day lies down
to the embrace of darkness,
mesquite roots sink into the clutch
of flint earth. A drained moon nests
deeper into the night, which needs nothing,
having grown too vast to hold.


Artwork on this page:
Detail of Valentine for a cougar
31.5 x 74" oil on wood, 2005
Irene Hardwicke Olivieri

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