My Jenny, my jewel, the house echoes with your wintery tread, a diamond rolled loud on an overturned aluminum canoe; you walk about like one who is school-tired to the point of ill-temper, a scholar flopped among her hundred books. How often I recall my own school days in dry colloquy with old professors, ghosts of poetry who remain spirit-limber in my reminding mind--strong with witch-words that evoke in me heaven-pastures where angels nod don-like over tomes cloud-lovely and limned with golden words as if sunset were always nigh, yet never setting into that charlike dark beyond the page where thumb and gilding meet and part. And so I see you, conversing briskly with rows of unknowing pupils, tipping cups of milky knowledge into empty mugs.... Here beneath our roof of snow you move in moody silence, heavily, from chair to chair, arranging tests and essays like a stack of X-rays shimmering to heart and bone of your young charges now dimly abed and dreaming--while wild outside the February wind whistles wickedly, and I sit meditative in a half-daze of dream, remembering with the flickering wind just how young (how young!) I once was in poetry--knowing only that I didn't know the myriad ways of verse, but loved all that poetry somehow made me feel--as a child knows nothing, but knows that love is there in the downward glow of its mother's downy face. If I could contain so much of ignorance all at once, surely one day my knowledge could grow as great? The book has flattened on my lap that kept me wondering while you worked-- airy fancies that troubled old Coleridge: his fire's stranger-ash floating over flaming bars as he watched lost in thought in his humble Cot, all his guests asleep, his singing-self a stranger like the rest! Here, the wind-berated moon huddles low over apartment eves; each push and punch of night-wind tells--not of strangers beyond the sill, but how alone we are when we are ourselves! I see my ignorance with sleepy eyes and measure new ignorance by those stars ranged primly distant, too far to touch their fire--almost too far to see.... What passion keeps them steady in their skies, astral marks that tell us where we are? When it's all too much for me, too many confusions and cavilings railing in my brain, all I can think to think, or think to say as the Little Dipper sinks and darkness greys confusing eye and atmosphere, is that a flame grows narrow at its tip. Jenny, I look about me once again, rising itinerant until I find my final bed beyond these rooms we share and shape with life. Nearby, you bend to the stuttering stove, a companionable grace in increasing night, quiz-work kept neatly stacked at the long table, and strike a fresh match to the unprimed grate-- over-watching the tiny flame with as careful eye as God might over-watch the infant heat of Adam in early earth's so-cold bowl-- and soft! within the iron grate, with whisper sweet, bluely ignites the tender pilot light, set to burn as long as attendant gas serves as wick to what your human hands had clicked awake.