by Michael R. Burch
The matters of the world like sighs intrude;
out of the darkness, windswept winter light
too frail to solve the puzzle of night’s terror
resolves the distant stars to salts: not white,
but gray, dissolving in the frigid darkness.
I stoke cooled flames and stand, perhaps revealed,
now equally as gray, a faded hardness
too malleable with time to be annealed.
Light sprinkles through dull flakes, devoid of color;
which matters not. I did not think to find
a star like Bethlehem’s. I turn my collar
to trudge outside for cordwood. There, outlined
within the doorway’s arch, I see the tree
that holds its boughs aloft, as if to show
they harbor neither love, nor enmity,
but only stars: insignias I know—
false ornaments that flash, overt and bright,
but do not warm and do not really glow,
and yet somehow bring comfort, soft delight:
a rainbow glistens on new-fallen snow.
Michael Burch’s poetry has appeared in a number of well-regarded journals that specialize in formal poetry, such as Light Quarterly, The Lyric, Measure, The New Formalist, Able Muse, The Rotary Dial, and The Road Not Taken.