Scientists are now surmising that origins of the virus
may be attributed to human behavior, our encroachment
on wild lands where animals become stressed by the change;
and in some cases are transported elsewhere …..
Fog piles on the mountain
and the ancient woman (there)
spins much of it into thinner threads
that warm the wind and bind us to spring.
A task she has performed for days,
and yet in the past few, we haven’t heard
from numerous birds that nest
in the nearby pines
or seen squirrels rummaging
through the grass for stray seeds, the hedges
for loose berries.
The gardener ( an old man with Inca blood) says
something drove them off, maybe stress
or the scent of disaster.
I can only recall
that my neighbors spent an hour
burning the synthetic tarp
that didn’t fit their roof. The smell so bad
someone phoned the fire chief
and the big truck came
dowsing the flame, the toxic fumes. White smoke
lingered along with shadows
of the street lamp and pergola
lengthened by the afternoon, showing perhaps
how we’ve extended
our space in the high desert, angered the crone
who has spun more than fog. A fuse
that was lit and led to forests
still burning, a virus that rages
through borders and walls, the bone gates
of our breath.
As the title infers, the old woman on the mountain alludes to Clotho, one of the three sisters in Greek Mythology who determines the fate of earth and humankind. She was known as the spinner and spun the length lifespan of each human as well as helping to determine the course of each person’s destiny.