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” My lifetime listens to yours.” Muriel Rukeyser

When we moved to the west side of the bay, everyone kept saying wait until the leaves from the large oaks and the twisting vines in the backyard fall away. Well, today the leaves have nearly dissapperared and I understand: the reservoir revealed itself along with hundreds of  various migrating water fowl: geese, egrets, herons, ducks.  Two nights ago when the temperature dropped, I walked to the back window after midnight and opened it to the cool air and night sounds of birds gathered there. The cries startled me.  I stood there,  taking in the dampness with no smell of marsh or salt air. Confusing at first. Fresh air, fresh water spell and smells: wet leaves and branches. The reservoir is surrounded by a “goverment” chain linked fence. No access by foot or boat. But the parsonage must have been built in late fall or early winter because the windows in the back of the house were installed for viewing the timed event. How many months do we have? December, January, February, March. This season, our first winter here.

I’ve been left alone in the house most mornings while I build a bookof poems. I keep looking over my shoulder for Jane Kenyon. She writes, ” the wind is keen coming over the ice.” She’s walking in winter. I’m looking from the windows, going from bedroom to bathroom, to livingroom, to kitchen, viewing the strangeness revealed, the appearance of the hidden. I open a window to fresh winter wind. I ease myself home today after recent travels to the west coast. Transitions always behind and in front. The fallen leaves, the loved ones left behind, the emerging bird sounds and occasionally a deer passing close to the water’s edge.

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