Turn of a Year
This is regret: or a ferret. Snuffling,
stunted, a snout full of snow.
As the end of day shuffles down
the repentant scurry and swarm—
an unstable contrition is born.
Bend down. Look into the lair.
Where newborn pieties spark and strike
I will make my peace as a low bulb
burnt into a dent of snow. A cloth to keep me
from seeping. Light crumpled over a hole.
Why does the maker keep me awake?
He must want my oddments, their glow.
From The Mending Warm by Joan Houlihan © 2006. Reprinted by permission from New Issues Poetry & Prose.