Winter Beach photograph by Eric Brandt

Winter Beach
© Eric Brandt

Under the Great Calabash Tree


Like the antique clock my brother presented
one birthday that’s blurred with all the rest:
You spin the tiny knob backwards to head
the hands in the path of time’s advance. Best
to believe it’s like the orchard cut back
to foster a better crop, or the freeze
the backyard cherries need before their black
and yellow fruit can drop. How else to conceive
of the loss of one so dear, to survive
in the silence that follows like hands
pressed against the ears? To begin a life
again after reason returns and grants
the chance to recover the years you’d tossed
into vidual winds or pinned upon a cross.