After leaving my father at the hospital on Christmas Day,
everywhere I look, I see eruption. A startle
of ice cracks off a branch above my head.
A local dog goes from saunter to sprint
at the sight of a squirrel.
I have parked
beneath a tree still flush with berries,
grape-like and browned, knocked loose
by the fierce wind and exploded
into mush on the hood of my car.
Little clots sticky as tar.
I swipe at them with my gloves, rub
them with snow to wash away
the streaks before they freeze.
Stroke, a slow movement across a surface,
a new rowing across an old world.