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Winter Crack

Saint Paul, 7 April 2005
For Rudi Dietrich

In dreams
I wrote of your hands
How they appear
At rest in photographs
The lines of this poem
Clutch at stillness
Like rooting fingers
Of lodgepole pine

Sleeping voices
Await a fateful fire
To shed a serotinous seal
The hand-rubbed sheen
Becomes your cello’s belly
Although a winter crack
Moderates your morale

A brittle twig
Becomes your bow
You look at me
From the f-holes of
The inner bark, the grain
Justified like the curve
Of catgut paused
To resonate

Serotinous seal refers to a pinecone or other seed case
that requires heat from a fire to open and release the seed.