So many bones and still this churchyard
can't move through the snow
as mourners still leave rainstones
--in winter the rain
stays longer, hardens, stars too
from the same tree whose leaves
fall whiter than graves
--all these wandering roots
once reaching a surface
are changed into stone
and for first time left with a name.
You could rebuild the Earth
use the names stored here
for this snow growing wild
in the churchyard :a delivery room
where this old woman with gloves
and a scarf over her lips
holds up by the feet a child being born
a thousand times over. She too leaves a stone.
--a record for snow! plaques
are everywhere in the drifts
and still the church sends up its bell
to count as if her child was missing
was still in the air, nameless and angels.
You could pile a bridge here
and never forget its founding
or the way its walls restored again
begin to shake or what they defended
falling from your arms and bones.
Si Perchik is author
of sixteen books of poetry, including "The Gandolf Poems"
(White Pine Press, 1987), "The Empitness Between My Hands"
(Dusty Dog Press, 1993) and "These Hands Filled With Numbness"
(Dusty Dog Press, 1996). A reprinting of his first sixteen volumes
is scheduled for publication through Pavement Saw Press in the
year 2000. An attorney whose work has been printed in Partisan
Review, Poetry, The Nation, North American Review, APR, Beloit,
The New Yorker among others, his work is found in the Library
of Congress Rare Book Collection.