Epithalamion

by Linda Gregerson

The beautiful geometry the trees become
                        each winter here
is beginning to blur at the edges and

                        the robin we think
must be a little deranged has for the third time
                        in as many years

returned from wherever she goes for sun and
                        resumed
her attacks on the window. She’s at it every

                        day, feet first,
as though to scatter an enemy host or
                        seize contested

foothold. And supposing she’s been deceived
                        by the visual
field, we’ve tried removing the blinds,

                        the screen,
and once in desperation taped a page of the New
                        York Times

to the glass. No luck. She is relentless as
                        the warming earth.
Sweet lake, abide our lingering here.

                        The four-
footed creature who year after year leaves
                        a wreckage

of yolk-smeared shell beneath the ragged
                        larch where
year after year our robin restores her nest

                        must come
by night. Sweet lake. He too has his work
                        in the world, or so

I’ve tried to think. The window refuses to
                        moralize.
But wedding songs require a point of view

                        and we,
when grief has had its way with us, are
                        all the more

stubborn in matters of joy. The joy
                        that has been
untouched by grief is precious and

protectionless. This chosen joy – Sweet lake,
                        abide –
is rarer still. And shared.

 

for Susan and George