WINTER IN THE SACRAMENTO VALLEY
(For Joyce Odam)
The winters here are mostly damp.
The days are grey. They form a camp.
A great and endless fog commands,
All thick and dense, a gauzy stamp.
This weather makes its own demands.
The days are ghosts with oak tree hands.
The morning and the evening change
Without a sound, their cold, white plans.
There is no landscape. All is strange,
Fog cattle grazing shadow range.
There is little here of any sun
To make a mark or rearrange.
A cloistered time. Each day a nun.
A silent time. A seamless one.
We speak another language; one
That quiets time, as days pass, stunned.