It’s a gray time of year when the year turns,
a dull time for reflection or summing up.
Heavy clouds lid the sky. New years really
begin with the spring. The old year dies now;
the next months, while endured, hardly exist.
In front of the sacred bookstore someone
carved a Buddha of snow. The snow-Buddha,
with muffler of rose-colored silk, will melt,
proving ephemeral things of the Earth, works
of our hands.
I probe the house pulling calendars from the walls.
Newly obsolete, my appointment book holds
the history of my year: hopeful meetings,
wasted interviews, a concert when time
for a moment stood still. The years
get archived neatly with the tax returns.
In the long, cold night we fight for the bed
covers. I shiver till I yank an edge loose.
I lie awake, planning projects that may never
happen. Meanwhile I work, commute,
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