Mary Ann Honaker
Seeing is a discipline.
I look at the same tree every day:
now its bark is black, wet with recent rain;
now striped by the sun, its leaves aflame;
now its lower leaves ablush with wine red,
its crown a deep and murky green;
now it dances naked in the biting winter wind.
How often do I see?
Sometimes I sit long before anything comes clean.
The geese leave vees of milk white
behind them as they cross the lake’s black face.
The sun hides behind the clouds and the damp
sinks into my hands and chills me, but
wait, wait. The sun returns and I am glad.
At last the geese forget to fear me;
they swim by softly, their sleek bodies
making no sound in the water.
Their silence passes into me.
Sometimes I see by chance:
reflections of headlights on wet asphalt
burrowing holes of light into the road.
The exhalation of grates in winter,
when deep below something warm and moist is passing;
rain dripping from a house’s eaves.
The reflections of birch as they lean
their white bodies over the lake’s face
as if in love. The reflection of ripples
from the water on the tree’s long arms
like a lover’s glance returned.
The green grass fire, the blonde grass fire,
the brown fire of a naked shrub,
the fire of glistening mud,
the grey fire of a stone, and rust fire,
fire of clay and of the beaten path,
fire of the water’s face as evening bleeds
the colors from all things.
Mary Ann Honaker holds a BA in philosophy from West Virginia University and a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. She has previously published poetry in Harvard’s The Dudley Review and Crawlspace of Cambridge, Massachusetts. In her writings she primarily explores the transformative power of love and the intersection of the spiritual world with mundane reality.