Headdress of Days

Annette Marie Hyder
(Thanksgiving 2011)

It seems to me that I wear the days
as a sort of crown
or a headdress, a headdress of feathers
where the feathers of greatest beauty and significance
are loved ones
and the beaded ornamentation
multi-colored and brilliant
is made up of the many acts of kindness
large and small
that have been hand sewn and finger knotted in.

The length of this headdress does not, paradoxically,
increase with each day but rather with each new thing
that I have to be thankful for.
These new things are the feathers
that fan out from the top and cascade down.

And so it is that I am measuring time
not with minutes and seconds
but in gratitude
as feathers sweep my steps,
lay a hush on my surroundings
and whisper
hallelujah
as I go.

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Thickets

Annette Marie Hyder

You bring me words
sweet and succulent
hold them in the hands of your mind —
hands scratched by thorns
and with dirt beneath their nails.

Your mouth is a basket overflowing
with hand-picked berries just for me.
Your eyes show me flashes
of fur, of feathers
in the thickets of your thoughts.
Vines cover every branch
in sinuous, sensuous green.

You want me
to walk with you
in the wild wood.
I want those berries
your thorn-scratched hands
and your basket too.

Autumn Bridge

Annette Marie Hyder

The autumn forest
wet with rain
is a lucid dream
where all the colors
shine like glass
that has been polished
in the wind.

Every leaf is a door
that shakes and shudders
trembling to be opened
and behind which stand
all the trees of time
immemorial.

Fire and rain blend,
become a gateway
or a bridge
spanning from one season
to the next —
inviting one to cross.