Lines After Reading Du Fu

by James Koller

I open my door to two dippers, a river of stars, enough moon light
to watch a breeze lift the blue ribbons hung from the high garden posts.

What you see flying over is what you get, forest & little lakes,
long frozen rivers for as far as you can see.

Bluejays watch it all up close, busy bodies;
the ravens stay out of sight, talk to us from the treetops.

I listen now, make what I can of all those old songs,
her bare feet, swirl of long skirts, dancing the wooden floors.

The doors were all unlocked & blue,
like the doors of heaven, she said.

We moved from room to room, I carried her, legs around me
bed to bed, spread those spirits through this place.

We walked the dirt roads, trees still leafing out,

looking for yellow flowers, finding lost feathers;

we came to the pond, the new moon rising,
couldn’t see what it was slipped into the cool waters.

Bringing in firewood, fox tracks just north of the house.
Snow & ice, so cold I need to find my gloves.