for Kait Rhoads

Gather up whatever is 
glittering in the gutter,
whatever has tumbled 
in the waves or fallen 
in flames out of the sky,

for it’s not only our
hearts that are broken, 
but the heart
of the world as well.
Stitch it back together. 

Make a place where
the day speaks to the night
and the earth speaks to the sky.
Whether we created God
or God created us

it all comes down to this:
In our imperfect world
we are meant to repair
and stitch together 
what beauty there is, stitch it 

with compassion and wire. 
See how everything 
we have made gathers 
the light inside itself
and overflows? A blessing.

From Only Now (Deerbrook Editions, 2013). Copyright © 2013 by Stuart Kestenbaum. Used with permission of the author.

In winter, we find her invisible
against the furrows
of cottonwood bark. Her swivel
and lean follow us until
we sit on the old polished log
we call creature. She blinks,
swells her feathers out, shakes and settles.

It’s a good day when I see an owl.
We watch until she drops—a fall
opening to swoop and glide. What is it
with lesbians and owls? Someone
asked. I’ll leave the question
there. There’s a world

the old trees make of water
and air. I like to feel the day
undress its cool oblivion, currents
moving the one mind of leaves,
shadows deeper with the breath
of owls. Just the chance she might
be there watching makes me
love—no—makes me loved.

Copyright © 2022 by Anne Haven McDonnell. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 21, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.