December 24, 2012
Sun comes closest to earth on the first day of the New Year, the perihelion;
At solstice I stand at Blue Pool in darkness and await the messenger, a portent—
Trumpeter’s blast, bejeweled refracted ray of light, or still, small voice?
I laugh because I am powerless, seerless,
Yet I will a presence, wait for a miracle,
Knowing one cannot conger such a sign, only hope:
I strip off my jacket and coat like the idiot boys at college football games,
Raising my naked arms, feeling the stinging wind, hearing the Mississippi’s watersong;
And then Bald Eagle appears upcliff, soaring west to east,
Eagle the embodiment of sublimity, equipoise, amazing grace,
(Benjamin Franklin proposed the wild turkey as our national symbol. The eagle:
“is a bird of bad moral character.”)
The King of Predators (Lord Barred Owl bows as it passes) shrieks, “Perihelion!”
Then it rolls, flying upside down over the snow-dusted rimrock.