There was much wine, an ignored tension,
and a feeling of things coming that you
could not prevent.
Ernest Hemingway

There’d been an ease in expecting every June morning
         she’d see there the black-eyed Susans bloom,
on the pier, the great blue heron preen, the same three
         snowy egrets wing in, low across the lake.
There’d been an ease in watching him
         through the open window on the patio. But now
his words rise like a storm surge, and she sees
         instead this tight, white wall, barricades
herself behind the bedroom door,
         nails it closed, rides it out, watches
now the unframed oil of Ponte Vecchio
         beside collected feathers, shadow-boxed.

In the woods she listens later to a bird’s incessant cry the way
         she had listened, as a child, to kittens call
from behind the kitchen wall where the mother cat,
         meaning in the attic to keep them safe,
had dropped them one by one. Blind to last night’s
         spiderwebs stretched across the trail,
every seventh step she flails at the invisible and carries, unaware,
         a spider, black and dangling
from a strand of hair just above her eye.
         Around a clutch of feathers, a woodpecker’s checkered
black and white, she finds a widening
         spiral around the old homesite: stiff flight feathers,

semiplumes, a mound of down—the debris field,
         a rubble of red brick, crumbling,
and one surviving cornerstone. She gathers fragments, crackled,
         lodged in loam and leaf litter, shards of cups
and saucers, trampled, scattered,
         like Pamplona’s runners in starched white shirts
and scarves, for San Fermin, flashing red before the bulls.
         This site she’s known for years
to be an end has always only been an eye,
         a quieting, a lull between.