for Rosalind, on her birthday.
What gift can I give you, sister
In this season of gold, incense and myrrh?
You were my wondrous child,
A magical Christmas gift.
Today, what can I offer you?
I send you midwinter spring in the Rockies
Dazzling sun on snow
Sky of brilliant blue,
Soft moonlight on the foothills.
I send you the hollow willow tree
Springing green from the stump,
House finches trilling at the nest,
And the call of the mountain chickadee.
I send you the fragrance of ponderosa pines,
The howling song of coyotes at nightfall,
A bumblebee dusted with sunflower pollen
And the hazy afternoon,
Rich with sound of cicadas.
I send you a golden aspen leaf
Fluttering to the ground,
A shaft of light through the red maples
And a crunchy, frost-sweetened apple.
I send you the tinkling murmur
Of water flowing beneath ice,
The sound of fresh, crisp powder underfoot,
And the jewel-bright stars of midnight.
May all these beauties bless your year!
What gift can I give you, my poet