I was brought up and still live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia so I rely on imagery derived from the natural landscape to explore human relationships. My wife, Elizabeth, and I have two daughters and three grandchildren. I have been an architectural woodcarver for over 35 years and have written numerous articles and three books on the subject. My poetry has appeared in Shenandoah, Green Mountains Review, The Lyric, The South Carolina Review, Southern Poetry Review, and others.
Family: 3 January 1971
for Heather Carlyle
We paired dominoes and measured the afternoon
before you were born. The swaddling snow
suspended us in the anxiety of a cocoon,
but it was twilight before we decided we had to go.
Knee deep, pausing, up the lane to the buried car,
your mother labored, I steadied her, you knocked
on the door of the world. The hospital was not far,
but we knew unplowed roads would be slick or blocked.
We left the square yellows of country darks,
drove toward city lights, sweat jeweling our faces,
passing angeled glass, and empty, childless, parks.
Unseen stars practiced their parts in their storied places.
In nightshift quiet, your first cry we always hear
as the common professes to be the profound.
We hug you warm and tenderly, dumbstruck in our fear
as snow covers the stumbles of the ground.
©2016 Frederick Wilbur