White Coat at Midnight

January 1, 2008

This morning my best friend will come with his chain saw and ax, and we'll cut down the ash where a barred owl perched last night and hooted his four-note song. We'll split it and stack it into cords, and I'll be thinking about midnight in January when the air is twenty below zero and the northern lights shimmer purple and blue. My wood stove will be burning today's work at 700 degrees, and I'll be warm enough to open a window wide and listen again for owls and the calls of coyotes yipping at the moon, my monogrammed white coat draped on a peg, washed whiter by the moonlight, hanging around for the next moment of healing, like winter waiting for the earth's heart to thaw.

This morning my best friend will come with his chain saw and ax, and we'll cut down the ash where a barred owl perched last night and hooted his four-note song. We'll split it and stack it into cords, and I'll be thinking about midnight in January when the air is twenty below zero and the northern lights shimmer purple and blue. My wood stove will be burning today's work at 700 degrees, and I'll be warm enough to open a window wide and listen again for owls and the calls of coyotes yipping at the moon, my monogrammed white coat draped on a peg, washed whiter by the moonlight, hanging around for the next moment of healing, like winter waiting for the earth's heart to thaw.