Winter Solstice –for Jeb Jan Bailey

for Jeb

The full moon floats in a cauldron
of white. Along the bank, birches
snatch at the boy as he skates
the pond, dizzy with speed. His
mother clings to the sidelines
where the ice is more transparent,
where she can judge the depth
by twig and frozen leaf while he
lunges far ahead, arms pumping the
air, his wide satchel of days
strapped to his shoulders
like gold he bears into the future.

Up and down the pond, sequined
with late snow, he shapes his
crazy 8s, all boy grin and wide
eye, lean as the trees and tall
weeds that ting their ice capade.
And she knows in her heart
she will lose him, glance up
from the fringes to find him
erased, asorbed into light like
a shadow, she loved and released.

Jan Bailey