Equinox Ritual with Ravens & Pines
by Brenda Hillman

copyright © 2013 by Brenda Hillman

— so we said to the somewhat: Be born —
      & the shadow kept arriving in segments,
    cold currents pushed minerals
  up from the sea floor, up through
coral & labels of Diet Coke blame shame
        bottles down there —
    it is so much work to appear!

unreadable zeroes drop lamps
      as mustard fields [Brassica rapa]
gold without hinges, a vital
      echo of caring … On the census,
just write: it exists! Blue Wednesday
      bells strike the air like forks
    on a thrift store plate,
& the shadow moves off to the side …

In the woods, loved ones tramp through
      the high grass; they wait in a circle
          for the fire to begin;
they throw paper dreams & sins upon
              the pyre & kiss, stocking the first
      hesitant flame after touching a match
to the bad news — branches are thrust back
across myths before the flame catches –;
ravens lurch through double-knuckled
        pines & oaks & the otherwise;
a snake slithers over serpentine
then down to the first
      dark where every cry has size —