Shadows over Canada: for Sylvia

There is a niche for us somewhere,
however small,

a place to sit at ease
or long on toes to be the witness
that is our lot.

Is there any way to measure this space
or to feast on the rare fruit
that we were born addicted for?

Your rook carries its message
firmly in the rearrangement of my crow;

even nature needs a place to take hold,
an entrance to the forge
that the stars have made of us,

your molten spirit pulses with celestial ore,
the plasma of winter nights

dropping their prayers
like smoldering hail
around the frail bridges strung in our dreams.

You have ridden the ship of myth
down into the ocean’s deep abode;

still your voice is clear
set to singing by the sinew of seasons,
the cold, drawn out roil of salty fathoms
dissolving the despair
and the anguish of the ages.

It was more than enough,
this small clearing
in which the imagination was tended
and loved until it grew to mingle its shadow
with the deep surrounding forest

from which you gathered the thread
as you passed over

weaving for yourself a cloak
to hold you farther than the eye can ever see.

(c) Seth Grube