Night draws down. The rain has stopped, but now
Cold wraps the hills. The hermit lights his one
Advent candle. Praying, he tastes snow
That might or might not fall before the sun
Cracks open the black ice above the ridge:
The world an egg, itself both hand and yolk.
He shakes his head. There’s nowt so queer as folk,
His mother’d say. Lone evenings always dredge
Up these random body parts of memory—
Bone fragments, just enough to make him long
For what lived once and is alive no more. He
Assents to hope. In death, he’ll make his song:
Alleluia. Long midnight rolls in.
He bows to it. It settles like a stone.