The Fox at Dawn

Winter’s First Days
December 23, 2022, 8:23 am
Filed under: memory memorabilia re-membering | Tags: , ,

It is Thursday, December 22, at last putting pen to paper after trying to disappear to myself in the break from scheduled duty of school and church. 

The sky lightens, cars speed by on rain slicked roads. I read Ada Limón and watch the steam rise from my tea, a photograph of Anderson watches me closely from our long ago Foster Avenue Apartment. He’s just up from the basement, where he’s been drumming in a dark corner. He sits in the armchair I just left, my purse sprawled beside it along with the book I was reading while Anderson’s heartbeat came up through the floor, keeping me company.

Maybe no one is ever gone.

Maybe it’s impossible to leave each other behind.

This afternoon Olivia and Asher arrive. Peg doesn’t come until Christmas Eve. There are gifts to be wrapped, gifs to be made, blueberry compote to be cooked, disgraceful rooms to be cleaned. They are staying at Nonna’s house. Jess will join her cousins. Nonna is afraid that she can’t handle my stairs anymore, the approach to my house is perilous, so Christmas morning will be at her house, not mine. This makes us sad. It opens the door to a thought I can only look at sideways: It’s entirely possible that she will never step inside our house again.

At the meditation window with Amundsen & Angéle Dubeau.

Evening now. The storm has overtaken us. The temperature plummets below zero, the snows blow, cars creep along the road when one dares to make the passage. It’s a dangerous night, people will die of it. The cousins are all safely at Nonna’s, making Christmas cookies and laughing. I batten the hatches here at my house on the hillside. All the cats are in, save one. One of the two feral cats I have been feeding would not be coaxed in. Albert. I’ve done what I can to make him safe with shelters, even a new heated one that he seems to shun. But I worry I have not done enough. Old Henry sits in my lap, cradled by my left hand while I try to write with the right, sitting by the meditation window that is fogging up and icing over as I watch it. Winter in its first days is closing up the house. 

Listen. Listen for the drumming from the dark. 

Your heart does not beat alone.

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