[33] A Door, No Key, Judith Chalmer

We’d been talking about love.
We’d been walking, as we always have
in January, the same trail every year.

Not much snow lately – just some
grainy patches, the stream pale
with a thin scrim of ice, whiskery

over the shallow falls. Bright spears
gasped up too early from the ground,
the ground itself groaning in granite

that turned and tipped upward
in the uneven frost. Mosses
everywhere, springy and bright,

softening the broken spikes of a stump,
pulling down fallen logs with lacy green
collars wound around their necks.

We were thinking about fear, the stale,
dry air of it. We were thinking about hope.
There was a silver mist that dropped

and stayed on our shoulders.
There was the tapping and the sighing
of the woods and the golden swirl

of grasses on the path, another
and another bounding over the rise.
At dusk, there was a door, no key.

Only trust to open the evening,
the scent of clean leaves, the slip
of wet clay, warm oil for our palms,

and the troubled air in which
a simple thing like rain
in its season, or life, could disappear.



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