The view outside the kitchen window is wet and green. I have never visited the Pacific Northwest, but I imagine it might look like this: dark, dripping rhododendrons, myrtle and pachysandra running riot, a pale cottage visible beyond the pines, a scarlet cardinal investigating the circle of spilled millet beneath the feeder. What this does not look like is Christmas in New England, yet here we are.
This is a house with a furnace, and the furnace is running. This is a house with walls that are windows, and everywhere the bare-armed trees are bending down to peer in. There is a poet inside the house, and a poet next door, and a poet downtown. This place is overrun with poets. It's a wonder that anyone gets anything done.
The slope beside the house tumbles into a tiny pond, and floating in the pond are the shadows of branches. The graybeard sky stares at the mirror of its own face. "The world lay still and clear like a long mural," murmurs the ghost of Robert Francis, who is awake in the pale cottage next door. An invisible car passes. A kettle boils. This could be the house that you are living in. At any moment, you may walk into the room.