old snow



old snow



I’m old enough now

to feel the arc of my life rising

over the years, the shape of it

and the erosion of old certainties

beneath. when we’re young

we experience ourselves as a point

as beings out of time. but I’ve knelt

in this cathedral long enough now

to be conscious of the beads of sequential

experience clicking softly through

my fingers, this error in perception

I refer to as me. the gap

between the man in the mirror

and the man in my mind grows larger

by the day, as if some piece of me

is trying to circle back to the origin

even as the physical me noses over

and begins to accelerate toward the final

target. maybe one day I’ll come full circle

and meet the boy of my original self.

what would we say? who would be

the teacher? and who the taught?

how much might finally be forgiven?

Winter is ending at last in these mountains

but the snow lingers in the shadows

like a difficult lesson— that everything melts

but in its own time, that even old snow

can still shine, that old ice

can still be dangerous, that old fingers

can still bleed.



© oldbonesnewsnow.com/ J.A. Fink


spring in these mountains

is a fibrous season — winter’s

age-hardened fingers gripping the land

like the hand of a dying man.

after every warming day,

while the streams run full

with the blood of the melt, the moon

climbs a constellated sky,

and the cold deep of space

drops again to harden these hills –

how reluctant to open is this

human heart?

how many times must we hear

the quiet voice- we are each of us

crucified, all resurrected

none immune, none denied.

think of the dreams

of those who came before,

the great projects and empires

of the dust we stand upon.

the kingdoms of the ancients

amount to nothing

beside a single open and bleeding

heart – look to your hands

they were built for nails—

look to your heart

it was built for heaven –

this morning there was snow

on the trees again, and only now

do the birds begin to sing,

starting to rise between the branches

drawing back their wings, exposing

their hearts to this bright

and warming day, like dozens

of feathered crosses


J.A. FinkImage