Benediction

the monks of winter
      have carefully scratched
            the inky skeletons of trees
                  onto the parchment sky

the garden is
      as still and full
            as the moment before
                  Evensong begins

oblique light
      through cloud prisms
            like sunset through
                  a rose window

it is enough now
      to believe in
            what I sense and
                  in this winter eve

the birds’ empty nests
      preach eloquently
            of leaving behind
                  what no longer serves

back inside, the sun’s
      last psalm in my heart,
            steady rhythm of
                  footsteps on the path