Jeanne Emrich


                                                    Like a Seal Woman

almost winter . . .
                                                    like a seal woman
                                                    I want to slip
                                                    out of my skin and
                                                    call myself "she"

                                                    a blur becomes an eagle
                                                    above frozen ground–
                                                    in my dream
                                                    images of open water
                                                    of a child waiting

                                                    an ambulance
                                                    arrives in winter darkness–
                                                    I try to remember
                                                    what was sworn to me
                                                    by grasses, by clouds

                                                    snow softly filling
                                                    the meditation walk . . .
                                                    soon every dead end
                                                    will be just another way
                                                    to somewhere else

                                                    the clift's invitation
                                                    I wait with arms open
                                                    for a swirl of snowflakes
                                                    to lift me

                                                    maybe it's too late–
                                                    like a mammoth
                                                    of the permafrost
                                                    this woman wandering
                                                    into the snow