Unseasonable

it is just past Christmas,
and the air smells strangely like salt,
as if we were the sea, or had been
crying for days.
fog steams from the folds
and valleys of my father’s house; we
rake gravels back
into the drive—
the hard little memories
of snowploughs past—
tidying up edges, sweeping
aside leaf mould and the damp
with calloused hands.
isn’t this always
how it is at year’s end?
only
i am almost listening
for seagulls,
for the squawk
of some new thing
being born.

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