A Parallel Uni-Verse
Beneath a tree with moon-yellow apples
still on leafless branches in late November
a small buck is making a circle in new snow.
“They’re only pig apples” a real estate agent
told me when asked. “Good for nothing else.”
The buck pauses, bends its head to the snow
then looks up at the branches as if it’s waiting
for another miraculous moon-yellow apple to fall.


White-tailed Buck in a Pasture
By Tom Sexton
Winter Thaw
By Tom Sexton
Mist drifts over tangled blackberry canes
over saplings wind has hooped to the ground,

it drifts past a cup-shaped songbird’s nest
that’s anchored to an eye-level branch,

a nest that’s made of grass and hair,
it climbs a tamarack’s knotty vertebrae

then like a magician’s coin it disappears
leaving behind a voice that seems to say,

once I was a vernal pool, once I was a glacier.
Step out of those winter weary bones and rise
.


Tom Sexton lives in Anchorage, Alaska, and was poet laureate of that state from 1995 to 2003. He spends every other winter in his house in Eastport, Maine. His most recent collection of poems is I Think Again of Those Ancient Chinese Poets published by University of Alaska Press.
Money
By Tom Sexton
A friend about to leave for Paris calls
and says, “money is a kind of song.”
I take a few bills out of my wallet and
put them face up on the kitchen table.
Washington’s lips are thin and pursed.
Jefferson could be a sphinx in a wig.
I smooth a few creases from the bills
but nothing happens. I wait in silence.
Outside the window, a Stellers Jay
tilts its crested head to look at me
then begins to sing its raucous song.