No gods will be born this December eve
as we stand shod to knees in snow
under hard stars within a black ring of pines
circumscribing sky. At such a moment, we pause
to ponder the fathomless blue infinite
over our heads and the silence
ice and the tilt of the planet grant
the land. Starlight illuminates our tracks
among boles and branches, and the silver
cloud of our breath fades, and gleams, and fades.
Yet when I shake this bough, the weight of winter
will scatter from limbs and needles
the light of two thousand suns through millions
or more of miles of darkness.
That darkness encloses me, the same night
the light crossed with merely an imperative
to shine through a blackness
these fierce, fleet rays, falling at my feet
in glimmering drifts, will never know.
From a clearing at midnight in a snowy wood,
the universe is too large to bear gods and too small
to bear the light we carry into the darkness we find
in our eyes when we look toward the stars.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 1.