You’ve passed years like this before, bad
birthdays, bad Christmases, resolutions
that ashed and fell between your fingers.
You took your seat, reluctant-ceremonial,
Then hurried cards from the mantlepiece,
sentiment snapped shut and trashed.
You birthed truths all through spring,
drew them out, dredged them,
some wet, some still, some shivering.
Now, mothering, you sit with them.
You’re eyeing your watch past midnight
and you feel that this year, it’s slipping.
The minutes have died in the long
drip of your breakfast-honey
Do you feel anything? Can you crush your grief
to fill an eggshell, an oyster? Can you keep it
clean as we jump the rupture?
The minutes die like river-creatures in the silt
of your coffee cup. A paper-light shell
wriggled out of, shed and left.
You blow your blue smoke and reconcile
to thinking – this will be the worst. Every year
you’ll be wrong. Bury your watch
in the garden this morning. Let it slip
from your wrist, stamp flat the sillion.
Do you feel the earth beating?