Town sits like a sleeping animal
on top of a hill, drenched in mist

and drizzle. Along the road, a jeep
with a silver birch growing

where engine was. Snow
in the swale. ‘And what is death,’ Neighbor

asks, ‘Some mother’s or my own?’
They pop off all day at the clinic,

cut into bits in the dissecting room.
Woodshadows float silently

through morning motes,
seaward. Inshore and farther out

the mirror of water whitens, spurned
by lightshod hurrying feet. Cloud

begins to cover slowly the sun, shadow
the bay in deeper green, bowl

of bitter waters. Nickel shaving dish
in his hands, feeling coolness, smelling

the clammy slaver of the lather
where the brush is stuck. Nothing

here quite the same.