The first night at the monastery,
a moth lit on my sleeve by firelight,
long after the first frost.
A short stick of incense burns
thirty minutes, fresh thread of pine
rising through the old pine of the hours.
Summer is trapped under the thin
glass on the brook, making
the sound of an emptying bottle.
Before the long silence,
the monks make a long soft rustling,
adjusting their robes.
The deer are safe now. Their tracks
are made of snow. The wind has dragged
its branches over their history.
“Pine” by Chase Twichell from The Snow Watcher published by Ontario Review Press. © 1998 by Chase Twichell. Used by permission of Chase Twichell.
Source: The Snow Watcher
(Ontario Review Press, 1998)