On the lightning-struck pin oak,
On the swayed spine of the Blue Ridge,
a little gold leaf.
Once I drank with a vengeance.
Now I drink in surrender.
The thaw cannot keep me from wintering in.
I prepare for death when I should prepare
For tomorrow and the day after
and the day after that.
A clinker of grief where once hung my heart.
The moon's celadon glaze dulls in the morning's cold kiln.