We’re entering the season of winter bareness, as the last of the leaves turn russet and dark yellow, and just plain brown, on the oaks. The maple leaves are long gone. Most bushes have lost their leaves now too, including the winterberry bushes that flourish in wet spots around my house. After dropping their glossy summer leaves, the bush is a great swath of color in an otherwise quickly-becoming-dim landscape. We passed a bush this morning while walking, which made me think of this poem, from my manuscript The Truth About Death. Noticing brilliance was part of how I made each day work for me, in that numbing first year of grief. It still helps, a spark of color on a grey morning.
Sunlight through the kitchen window
catches my glass of juice and fires
a moment of brilliance in my hand,
moving to my mouth, my lips. I drive
to work, I drive too fast, accelerating hard
up the hill from the traffic circle
a bright November morning, bushes
of winterberry red and red and red
against bare trees shiny with sunlight.