Bamboo in Winter
Wind blurs the bamboo branches into
spinning ribbons of two-toned sage.
It is a singular being with root-stalks rattling
out of the snowed and heavy ground.
Or is it the other bamboo sticks' chiming I hear?
The ones the children tied with shells and twine
when Summer jumped the wind with lissome limbs?
Winter bones now rattle the wind, unfastened
in tatters. Skeletal bells from porch hooks
keep flapping. What did we carry from Summer,
in the hands of the children?
Keep on, keep on, call the bamboo chimes
to their living kin across Winter’s yard.
Bend quietly, dear sons and daughters.
Bend lithely, while you can. And the shells clap
their hands like cymbals, hearing
Summer's tide in the sound of the wind.