I can see the house if I lean far out,
throwing the window wide
to the lamb’s loud bleating,
the birdsong, vibrating.

He had gone on
going on dying
all winter.

I wouldn’t wait and die in the spring
when the darkness lifts off the world
like an old quilt;

wouldn’t wait for this bursting light,
this insistence of lambs.
The new-opened door slammed shut in my face.

Perhaps he had to.
Only then, finally to know,
it was beyond him—

keeping up—completely
beyond him.
When the death news ran we looked

at the ground where our feet were planted
then off somewhere—between two trees,
at the patched door on a stone shed,
at the post van, disappearing.